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Lack of sleep affects different children in different ways, make sure you are aware of the symptoms so you can spot a problem early on. Sleep deprivation in babies is rarely chronic, but your babies amd toddlers may be lacking in sleep and there are signs that you can be watching out for so that you can remedy the situation if it arises.
As adults, our bodies slow down when we are tired, but in children it's common for their bodies to speed up. If their bodies do slow down, you'll spot the obvious yawning, napping during the day and lethargy, but you may not associate some other signs with lack of sleep. Children can display different signs of sleep deprivation, including hyperactivity, being overly clingy, fragile emotions (breaking down for the slightest reasons), irritability, losing co-ordination and displaying tantrums. If your little ones fall asleep on almost every car journey then that too can be a sign that they are overly tired.
Babies need anything up to 17 hours of sleep in each day for their first two years, toddlers require up to 14 hours of sleep. They may not only sleep at night, babies will be napping during the day and toddlers will continue to nap until well after their third birthday if they are in the habit.
Unfortunately, being in bed and asleep is not necessarily the cure for sleep deprivation. Just as adults cycle through stages of deep and lighter sleep, so our little ones do too, and unless our children are getting the right sort of sleep, their bodies may not actually be recuperating in the way that is required. Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that your babies may suffer yet you may be unaware. Because there's no way for you to tell whether they are sleeping properly, you will need to keep an eye out for symptoms during the day. Just because your child appears to sleep through the night, it doesn't mean that they are getting all the sleep that they require.
If you think your children are suffering from sleep deprivation, take them along to your doctor. There could be many causes and many solutions depending on the cause, but if you do suspect a problem, it is better to obtain expert advice so that it can be dealt with professionally.
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