At WPA What Parents Ask we receive a lot of questions from parents. I am sharing the answer to one of the questions here while keeping the parent asking the question anonymous because this is a common question and I think the answer will help many parents.
The question is –
My child sleeps in the class. What should I do?
Hello Doctor !
This is a slightly odd question. I recently got a complaint from my son’s class teacher saying that he sleeps in the class. I brushed aside the whole complaint thinking that “it’s just an episode – maybe he didn’t sleep properly that night and he might have dozed off in the class the next day.” But the teacher has complained again and she was a bit serious about it too.
I ensure that he gets a full nights sleep (almost 8 hours) every day and his food intake is nutritious most of the time. So I am wondering why he could be sleeping in the class.
When I asked my son about this he says “Sometimes I feel sleepy and I try not to sleep but I can’t keep my eyes open at all. ”
Is there a problem here? Do I need to worry? I am planning to meet his class teacher soon. However I thought I’ll ask a parenting consultant before that.
My answer –
You haven’t mentioned your child’s age – but regardless of that – I can confidently tell you that 8 hours of sleep is just not enough for a child. Children need to sleep at least 10 hours every night. Most young children up to the age of 6 or 7 need an additional 1 to 2 hours nap during the day. And it is now clear from research findings that as children grow older – their sleep requirement does not decrease – it increases. So a teenager probably needs to sleep as much as a toddler.
- Ensure that your child sleeps at least 10 hours in the night before going to school.
- Observe him when he is asleep. Sometimes even when children are fast asleep – they may not get restful sleep because they are unable to breathe properly. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils may often be the reason for this. The enlarged adenoids or tonsils may obstruct the nose when they are very large and this may keep the child from breathing properly through the nose and the child may end up breathing through the mouth all night. Mouth breathing causes drying of the mouth and other discomforts which may not allow your child to sleep resulting in him feeling sleepy all day.
- Of course poor nutrition – especially anemia could be another reason for your child being sleepy. You would need to get his hemoglobin levels assessed in consultation with a pediatrician and have him treated if he has anemia. Also Read Iron Deficiency Anemia – What Parents Should Know
- Watch out for nightmares or night terrors. If a child wakes up several times in the night because of nightmares – even 10 hours in bed will not be enough. If your child has nightmares minimize scary television shows. Also keep an eye out for bullying.
- Notice if your child has difficulty falling asleep. If yes – check for sources of stress
- Make sure your child has clean, well ventilated room and a freshly made clutter free bed to sleep in.
- Ensure that he changes into fresh night wear just before getting into bed.
- And put him to bed at the same time every day.Feeling sleepy during class can make your child feel inferior, fall behind in studies and make him the target for the teacher’s annoyance. So you need to work on finding a solution urgently.Also Read Why does my child fall sick so often? If Your Child Falls Sick Often She/He Needs To Sleep
Good luck !!
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