KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For many parents, there’s a battle that brews every night. It’s called bedtime.
A lack of good sleep can lead to a tired and yawning child and inability to pay attention at school.
How do you figure out if you child is getting enough rest and when is it time to seek help?
WATE 6 On Your Side anchor Tearsa Smith talked to experts at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to get answers.
After a busy day at school and after school activities, parents often wonder why is it their kids still fight bedtime.
“I put some simple guidelines like if a child have difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep, if he wakes up frequently through the night, this is not normal,” said Dr. Ehab Mansoor with the Sleep Medicine Center.
Mansoor recommends improving your child’s sleep hygiene; basically stepping up your bedtime practice.
“They go to bed at the same time and they wake up at the same time every day,” said Kristin Vander Sluis with the Sleep Medicine Center. Of course on the weekend we all go to bed a little bit later but we advise that the difference not be more than an hour.”
This is really important for kids because Mansoor says the amount of alertness they need for school is even greater than we need for going to work.
“We want them to sleep in the same place every night. So we want kids to sleep by themselves, in their rooms with no electronics in the room,” said Sluis.
If you find despite your best efforts your child isn’t rested, it might be time to try a sleep study.
“The rooms are set up with a bed, bathroom and nightlights,” said Sluis.
“It’s when the child does go to sleep, what we are looking for we are able to get,” said Sluis. “Physiology, respitory, the heart rate, the movements during sleep, the brain wave activity during sleep.”
The diagnosis could mean better night’s sleep ahead.
Mansoor advises that if your child has difficulty paying attention, staying awake in class or is hyperactive, these could be signs they may have a sleep disorder.
So how much sleep does your child need?
Infants: 9-10 hours at night, plus three hours of naps
Toddlers: 9-10 hours at night, plus three or more hours of naps
School-aged children: 9-11 hours