If I think of all the children I have known throughout my life, including those in my family, of course, it would seem to me that the specialists are not exaggerating when they estimate that 30 percent of the child population has chronic sleep disorders.
Sleep problems range from primary snoring, a disease that affects 10 percent of children, to nightmares, somnilochia -sleep talking-, enuresis -weeting in bed after 5 years-, dependence of an object or toy to be able to fall asleep, and also the perennial refusal to go to bed, which often leads to the sharpest of daily tantrums.
The solution to many of these disorders depends more on the parents than on the children, so it is useless to pressure the little one, fight him, or punish him, it is better to establish a sleep habit, and with them we would avoid the repercussions that bad sleep has in school performance, mood and other physical damages that make it urgent to consult a specialist so that, if necessary, diagnose and treat the disease.
Contrary to what some parents think, irritability and hyperactivity are more frequent among children with a lack of sleep than drowsiness itself, and that is why the first thing we should check is if our child sleeps the number of hours that his age demands - recently born at term 16 hours; babies from 3 to 12 months, 15 hours; from 1 to 2 years, 14 hours; 2 to 5 years, 13 hours; 5 to 9 years, 10 hours; from 14 to 18 years old, 9 hours.
Other healthy measures to have an effective rest is to have a comfortable bed, an environment with low lights and a pleasant temperature, a quiet environment -no loud music, visits or games that alter it-, avoid the consumption of caffeinated drinks after the noon, and do not use the bed or sleeping room as a place of punishment to avoid unpleasant associations at the time of sleep. It also works to establish a routine before bedtime - it could be brushing teeth, peeing, a story, and a good night kiss - putting children to bed and getting up at the same time and encouraging them to go to sleep alone without the presence of parents or another adult.
Rosa Mañas. Editor of our site
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