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?
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
Why Sleep Problems Occur In Babies and Children?
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 being dropped or rolling off a change table.
Spinal subluxations can be corrected using safe and gentle chiropractic techniques which reduce nerve interference to the reticular activating system , restoring proper functioning , improving sleep.
Babies are often more settled, easier to get to asleep and sleep cycles last longer than the one 40 – 50 minute cycle.
Several research studies have shown correcting spinal misalignments, improve sleep problems in babies and children.
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