Sleep and Behavior Problems

Behavioral Problems, Child Sleep Problems

Six Child Behavior Problems Triggered By Sleep Issues

Getting your child to sleep can be challenging. With so many distractions nowadays, it’s easy for kids to lose track of time and lose sleep.  A study reveals that lack of sleep affects every aspect of children’s functioning and well-being. Behavioral changes are the most noticeable effects of insufficient sleep.

What are the behavioral effects caused by sleep problems?

Aggression

Children who snore or experience long pauses in breathing during sleep are more likely to develop behavioral issues.  Researchers found that 40% of children with breathing problems while sleeping develop behavioral problems. Aggression is one of those behavioral issues.

Parents of kids who show aggressive and disruptive behaviors often seek the assistance of counselors or therapists. However, these unwanted behaviors might not stem from social or psychological issues. Sleep problems may be the culprit behind your child’s aggression.

Anxiety

Anxiety is another behavioral problem that kids show when they have sleep issues. Sleep problems may lead to anxiety in children and teens and aggravate anxiety symptoms. Sleep deprivation impacts how kids and teens react to stress. Moreover, it intensifies anxiety symptoms including headaches, nausea, and sleepiness.

If your children show symptoms of anxiety, check their sleeping habits. It will help you understand the issue and get appropriate treatment. If sleep problems cause their anxiety, seek assistance from a professional such as a dentist specializing in sleep disorders.

Irritability

Small children, like toddlers, who cannot talk yet will let you know that there is something wrong whenever they act fussy and irritable. If your child feels more irritable than usual, it is already a sign that something is wrong.

When a child gets fussy, that can be because of inadequate sleep. Insufficient sleep can cause inattention and irritability on a short-term basis. To check, help your child to get sufficient sleep. Usually, irritability disappears after getting enough sleep.

Impulsivity

Impulsivity may be your child’s reaction to sleep deprivation. Adults and children have different responses when it comes to sleepiness. Adults feel sluggish when tired. Children have the need to overcompensate and speed up. They feel explosive and hyperactive when experiencing sleep problems.

Moreover, sleep problems have links to ADHD. About 50% of children with ADHD also show signs of sleep-disordered breathing. For a child with ADHD, poor or little sleep may aggravate their symptoms. As a result, the child can be impulsive.

Inattentiveness

Inattentive kids might be suffering from sleep issues. ADHD is often misdiagnosed in children with sleep problems. We also know that primary characteristics of ADHD are inattention, impulsive, and hyperactive behavior. It should be obvious, therefore that sleep problems can create inattentiveness.

Children who have sleep problems often experience difficulties sitting still in class. They need constant attention from their teachers. They also tend to talk out of turn or daydream whenever given instructions. Because of their inattentiveness, they cannot do school tasks and give up.

Defiance

A child with sleep problems can display Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) symptoms.

Children with ODD are often rebellious, hostile, and non-cooperative. These kids behave impolitely and wildly. They can bring bitterness and negativity to everyone around them.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is often caused by social and biological factors. However, sleep problems could also be a risk factor. Not having enough sleep will cause a child to develop symptoms of ODD. They will become crankier, more argumentative, and more defiant.

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