Sleeping problems in babies and children is one of the most common complaints seen in the clinic.
Sleep for Children is one of the most important requirements in early childhood.
Why Sleep Is Important?
Sleeping problems in babies and children may affect the amount of sleep achieved over a 24 hour period. During sleep the body rests, heals and grows. Sleep stimulates proper brain development, memory, alertness and strengthens the immune systems. Children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to sickness, behavioural problems, sleep walking, nightmares, and moodiness.
As well as the total sleeping hours , the quality of sleep is also extremely important. Despite receiving the correct hours of sleep, infants and children may still wake up tired and restless the next day.
How Much Sleep Is Normal For My Baby Or Child ?
Age Hours of Sleep Required:
0 – 2 months : 10.5 – 18 hours
2 – 12 months : 14 – 15 hours
1 – 3 years : 12 – 14 hours
3 – 5 years : 11 – 12 hours
5 – 12 years: 10 – 11
Sleeping Problems In Babies and Children and Why It Occurs?
Sleep is regulated by the reticular activating system of nerves which are located in the brainstem. When there are misalignments in the cervical spine (known as subluxations) then these nerves can become irritated, causing poor sleep patterns. Typically an infant will then wake at the end of each 50 minute sleep cycle and be more easily disturbed during sleep.
Spinal subluxations may be caused by the birth process, position of the baby in utero and or physical trauma such as falling off the bed or change table.
How Chiropractic May Help Sleeping Problems In Babies and Children.
Spinal subluxations can be corrected using unique techniques for babies and children. These techniques reduce nerve interference to the reticular activating system , restoring proper functioning and improving sleep.
Babies are often more settled, easier to get to asleep and sleep cycles last longer than the one 40 – 50 minute cycle.
Some research studies have shown correcting spinal misalignments, improve sleep problems in babies and children.
A parental report study into the issue of sleep problems in children showed significant improvements in time taken to fall asleep, number of consecutive hours of sleep and depth and quality of sleep for children during a short course of chiropractic care . (1)
(1). Miller, J and Klemsdal, M. 2008 Can chiropractic care improve infants’ sleep? Journal of clinical chiropractic paediatrics. Volume 9, No. 1, March 2008
Chiropractic Care of a paediatric patient with reflux, irritable infant syndrome and sleep disorders Alacantara J, Anderson R The Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association 2008 Dec; 52(4) 248-255