Child Sleep Disorders: Is Your Child at Risk?
Recent research has proven that children just are not getting the sleep they need these days. Kids today seem to be doing poorer in school and have less attention spans. Most parents are not aware of a common problem effecting thousands of children in this country: sleep disorders. Parents often fail to follow there children's sleeping patterns which can result in some serious side effects if that child has a sleep disorder. A study done at Tulane University in New Orleans studied about 300 first graders that preformed poorly in school. They found that 18 per cent showed signs of a sleeping problem. The percentage of children with bad grades found to have sleeping problems was six to nine times higher than found in a previous study done over all of the childhood population. (The Toronto Star). Most people believe that sleep disorders only affect adults but in reality 30% of all children have some sort of sleep disorder. (Burcum).
Sleep disorders are defined as a group of syndromes characterized by disturbance in the patient's amount of sleep, quality or timing of sleep, or in behaviors or physiological conditions associated with sleep. To qualify for a diagnosis of sleep disorder, the condition must be a persistent problem, cause the patient significant emotional distress, and interfere with his or her social or occupational functioning. (Frey p265). Some sleep disorders can effect children of all ages. The sleep disorder that children are subject to often depends on their age and development. Sleep disorders change most frequent in the middle-school years. Children often experience more anxiety at this time. (Burcum). The source of the certain sleep disorder cannot normally be pin pointed in every case. Many factors come in to play when dealing with the cause of a sleep disruption. Parental characteristics, personality, psychosocial influences, education, parenting skills, stress, trauma, school, culture and personal health can all bring about sleeping disorders in young to middle-aged children.
Some parents find that there children sleep to much, while others don't sleep enough. Some fall asleep at the wrong times while others cant ever even get to sleep. There are about 100 different sleep disorders being researched currently. Although sleep is a basic behavior in animals as well as humans, researchers still do not completely understand all of its functions and maintenance. In order to cure the child's sleep problem, you have to find the root of it. Unfortunately all sleep disorders are not caused by the same condition. There are several types or disorders and several conditions that can produce a them. (Fritz p82).
The first and most researched sleep disorder is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea does not affect children as often as it effects adults, but it is still a rising concern. Sleep apnea occurs in about 2 per cent of children, mainly between the ages of one through eight....