If your child is suffering from a sleep disorder, there is more at stake than just their sleep. According to a new study, serious sleep disorders in children may affect their mental health in the long term.
Four-year-olds are at a higher risk of developing symptoms of psychiatric problems by the time they turn six, as compared to children who sleep soundly.
"Our research shows that it is important to identify children with sleep disorders so that remedial measures can be taken. Sleeping badly or too little affects a child's day-to-day functioning, but we are seeing that there are also long-term repercussions," said Silje Steinsbekk, associate professor and psychologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Also Read: Why do Children Cry in their Sleep?
Interviews with parents conducted by the researchers were on the basis of DSM-IV diagnostic manual, which contains the official diagnostic criteria for mental disorders.
The study looked at over 1000 participants, all four-year-olds and parents of around 800 of these children were interviewed again two years later.
A child who shows signs of anxiety or a behavioural disorder may easily end up in a vicious cycle, where conflict with adults triggers anxiety and in turn leads to trouble falling asleep.
“Given that so many children suffer from insomnia, and only just over half ‘outgrow it,’ it is critical for us to be able to provide thorough identification and good treatment,” Silje pointed out.
“The early treatment of mental health problems can also prevent the development of sleep disorders since psychiatric symptoms increase the risk of developing insomnia,” Silje stressed.
Children who suffer from insomnia struggle with falling asleep and frequent waking.
Examples of other types of sleep disorders are hypersomnia, i.e. an extreme urge to sleep, and various cases of parasomnia, such as nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking. The study can be found in Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics.
Read more articles on Kids (4-7).
For more related articles, Download OnlymyHealth App.
Though all possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; Onlymyhealth assumes no liability for the same. Using any information of this website is at the viewers’ risk. Please be informed that we are not responsible for advice/tips given by any third party in form of comments on article pages . If you have or suspect having any medical condition, kindly contact your professional health care provider.