Helpful Hints

35 – 40% of children and adolescents experience some form of sleep problem during their development. Sleep problems are either those that:

Are intrinsic (come from the inside) and include nightmares, night terrors, bed wetting and snoring or those that.

Are extrinsic (come from the outside) such as bedtime reluctance, anxiety related insomnia, inability to fall asleep alone or environmental and social problems that get in the way of sleep.

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

Many things can be affected when we do not sleep enough such as:

Behaviour – aggressive, antisocial, withdrawn, hyperactive, unable to control or regulate behaviour

Emotion – Moody, depressed, anxious, stressed, uneasy, unconfident, irritable

Planning – poorly organised, poor time managers, repeating grades, forgets lessons

Concentration – inattentive, lack of concentration, falling behind in school

Creativity – not working at full potential

Problem solving – poor behaviour control and difficulty in social situations

Complicated thinking – struggles with maths, sciences, languages, abstract concepts

Motor coordination – less sporty, more accidents, clumsier

Weight – being obese and overweight is more likely with less sleep

Health – poorer immune system – sicker more often

Learning – it is though that sleep, particularly dream sleep or REM sleep, is necessary for storing certain types of memory, particularly more difficult memories such as mathematical concepts and language.

How we sleep

There are two main kinds of sleep. One is light sleep called REM sleep ( for Rapid Eye Movement Sleep). This is when we dream and when we “go over” the day’s events and wake feeling refreshed. It is also the kind of sleep where we wake more easily because it is so close to ‘awake’. Toddlers have more REM sleep than adults do.

The other kind is deep sleep (or NonREM sleep) where growing and healing takes place. It is the deepest sleep. This is when children may have night terrors. It is much harder to waken people from this kind of sleep.

Each night we all go through sleep patterns where we go from lighter sleep to deep sleep then lighter again as shown in the diagram. Toddlers usually take about an hour for each sleep pattern or cycle.

map

How much sleep do toddlers need?

Younger toddlers usually need somewhere between 12-14 hours over the 24 hour period, spread between day and night time sleep.

Older toddlers usually need a little less, somewhere between 10-13 hours a night. By five, most of them have given up their day sleep.

The reason that there is not a specific and precise numbers of sleep need is because children’s sleep needs are individual and can vary a lot from the average pattern.

If you want to check roughly how much sleep your own child needs, keep a sleep chart for a few days. Write down exactly how long your child sleeps. Whatever average amount you come to is probably about how much sleep your child needs. Remember that as you child grows, their sleep time will get shorter.

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“Our toddler daughter] started waking up overnight and not wanting to go back to bed, so I tried this method and it was AMAZING!!! She stopped crying instantly and slept through the night. I will be forever worshipping your feet!!!!”

Sophia
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“Our son Oliver did not know how to put himself to sleep at night and it was a constant battle to even try and convince him to stay in his own room. As a result of him not getting enough sleep he was often challenging to deal with the following day/s. What an amazing transformation! The Boss of My Own Sleep taught him the strategies to put himself to sleep in a fun way. A BIG THANK YOU to Dr Blunden!!!!!!!!”

Kim
Phone: 1300 785 377
Fax:
PO Box 101
Fullarton SA 5063 Australia