The sound of the alarm clock is always annoying when one sleeps little and badly. The child who does not behave well, is restless, impulsive, nervous, or who shows clumsiness and inattention, many times it is because he has slept poorly and little.
Problems or lack of sleep in most cases end up having an impact on the behavior of children. Healthy children but who sleep poorly and little They may have the same symptoms that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have. This is the conclusion of a study from the University of Helsinki, Finland, published in the journal 'Pediatrics'.
The research measured the sleep of 280 children under the age of seven, with the participation of their parents. Actigraphy was used, a technique that consists of recording the movements of the child's hand during sleep hours, which allows detecting not only sleep-wake patterns, as well as nocturnal apneas, insomnia, among other problems . The data obtained with this technique were contrasted with two questionnaires, one about sleep and one about hyperactivity, which the children's parents responded. Parents' comments on their children's rest hours were found to be inconsistent with actigraphy results. That showed that not all parents are aware of the actual time their children sleep.
A seven-year-old rests poorly when he goes to bed late, wakes up at night frequently, and sleeps only a few hours, that is, less than nine to ten hours. According to the researchers, in recent decades, sleep time has been cut in all Western countries. In the US, a third of children have inadequate sleep.
What can parents do to prevent their children from having trouble waking up or waking up, daytime sleepiness, headache, nervousness, and irritability? Researchers agree that it is important for parents to maintain proper routines in relation to their children's sleep:
- Make sure that children always go to bed at the same time.
- Control the time that children are exposed to television or the Internet in the afternoons.
- Teach children the importance of adequate rest, also with examples.
- Consult a specialist if symptoms of inadequate sleep persist.
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