Health Team

Sleep issues in infancy can carry through childhood

Posted January 13, 2012

Babies who have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep may have the same problems later in life.

Many parents think that the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep is just a normal part of infancy, but a new study shows early sleep issues carry through to childhood.

Ohio researchers found 10 percent of infants and toddlers have sleep problems at some point including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, staying in their own beds and having nightmares. They also found that even by age three, 21 percent of children were still not getting a good night's rest.

Dr. Pakkay Ngai, of Hackensack University Medical Center, said children who had sleep problems at 6 months were three times as likely as their peers to have a persistent sleep problem.

The study also showed that more than 12 percent of young children snore, but many parents didn't consider that anything to be concerned about.

"A lot of people equate snoring with getting a good, quality sleep," Ngai said. "But that's actually a sign that there's some turbulence in the way that child breathes, so that's something that needs to be checked out."

Children can suffer from sleep apnea. Some may need their adenoids and tonsils removed to ease their breathing.

Pediatricians say any significant changes in a child's behavior, learning capacity or mood swings can all be signs that your child may not be getting good quality sleep at night.


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