Sleep Deprivation: Why are Children Affected by it?

According to a survey, 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation

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Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Deprivation is becoming common among children. Pixabay
  • Sleep deprivation is becoming a common scenario nowadays
  • 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation
  • Sleep deprivation leads to poor attention and fall in academic performance of children

June 29, 2017: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sleep as the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. Proper sleep is an essential to maintain good health as it relaxes our body and freshens up the mind.

However, nowadays sleep deprivation (a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.) is becoming a common scenario, especially among children. According to a survey of National Sleep Foundation, 25 to 30 percent of normally developing children and adolescents are not getting enough sleep consistently.

The lack of sleep is leading to irritation, crankiness, poor social interactions, poor attention, worse grades and school absences amongst children.

Why are children sleep deprived?

  • Some children stay awake till late at night by personal choice. They choose to do so in order to complete their work or to have fun at night merely. Late night use of social media by adolescents has become a common phenomenon these days.
  • Some diseases such as cold and tonsillitis can cause snoring, gagging and frequent waking, and have a direct effect on sleep by fragmenting it.
  • Children can also be affected by sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Parasomnias or Behavioral Insomnia (Inability to sleep enough).
  • Some medications used to treat disorders such as epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause sleep deprivation.

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  • The improper sleeping environment may also contribute to sleep deprivation. If the room is too hot or too cold or there is continuous noise, children find it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor habits such as late night coffee stimulate the nervous system and make sleep less likely.
  • Stress is a major contributor to sleep deprivation. Lying in bed and worrying causes tension rather than relaxation.

Effects of Sleep deprivation in children

According to a research of National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation results in children in:

  • Poor concentration leading to a fall in academic performance.
  • Chronically sleep-deprived teenagers become more impulsive leading to risk-taking behaviors.
  • Sleeping problems increase the risk of disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Children start getting negative feelings which may lead to depression.

By Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6