An interesting article was just published in the New York Times outlining the links between childhood ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and childhood sleep problems. Of course, we all hear on the news about how ADHD is increasing among our kids, and how this can affect their schoolwork and other areas of their lives as they grow up. However, much research is still being done to better understand its’ origin.
Interestingly, the sleep problems these experts are concerned about, such as snoring, most parents think of as “cute and meaning that their child is sleeping deeply and soundly.” On the contrary, current research suggests that common breathing problems such as snoring are signs for parents and pediatricians to keep an eye out for!
Another remarkable point brought about by this article is that many parents are simply uninformed about how many hours of sleep per night their children should be getting. Unlike how sleep deprivation can affect us as adults (feeling sluggish, or drowsy), sleep deprivation for children can cause the behaviors we see in ADHD (being “wired” or “moody”). To help with this I have put together some articles outlining the recommended amounts of sleep for children, as well as sample sleep schedules for each age group.
What’s really great about this news is that we can learn from it. We can become better educated in what healthy sleep looks like, and be sure to inform our child’s pediatrician when signs or symptoms of sleep disorders emerge. In becoming educated parents on these topics, we can use what we are learning to better our kids’ sleep and even their future.
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