A wise man once said, “Sleep is better understood by its absence” and parents of children who have sleep difficulties will recognise the truth in this! Sleep has been shown to have an effect on children’s mood, attention, memory, ability to learn as well as their physical health, weight management and immunity. Childhood sleep problems are also a leading cause of adult sleep problems.
So, how much sleep is normal? Every child is different, but the amount of sleep needed gradually reduces from around 15 hours out of 24 at 6 months to around 11-12 hours by the time a child starts school. The amount of sleep needed continues to reduce at a slower rate during childhood to around 10 hours a night at the age of 10 years. During puberty and early adolescence there may be a slight increase in the amount of sleep needed but by late adolescence an average of 8 hours sleep is needed.
Some children may have difficulty with the overall amount of sleep they have while others may struggle with the quality of sleep. Sometimes a medical condition can be the cause of sleep problems but more often sleep problems have a psychological root. These can include anxiety or behavioural patterns that have been set in early childhood.
At Nurture Family Health’s sleep clinic we work closely with each family to find a solution that will work for you. We offer an initial consultation of 45 minutes-1 hour where we will talk over your child’s difficulties and make some suggestions. For some families this initial appointment may be enough to set them on the right path to restful nights.
For children who have an established sleep problem we are then able to offer a treatment package that includes a comprehensive assessment of your child’s sleep which is then reviewed by a paediatrician to consider any medical conditions. We will then discuss this with you and make a plan that fits with your family, the plan gives specific details about how to manage your child’s sleep related behaviour. Daily email support is available for a period of 14 days after you start your plan to guide you through the process. At your final appointment we will assess any improvements and fine tune the plan for future use.
If you would like more information about the Nurture Family Health’s sleep clinic please call the One Ashford reservations team on 01233 423241.