Babatunde Ogunbosi, a consultant paediatrician at the infectious diseases unit, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, says sleep problems affect how children relate socially.
Ogunbosi told NAN on Thursday that children under the age of five were often admitted into the hospital for sleep disorders.
“The most common cause of their sleep problem is ‘sleep apnoea’, where breathing is interrupted during sleep.
“However, sometimes there is no obvious cause of a child’s sleep problem.
“Children and teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep problems and lack of sleep can have negative effects on a child’s performance at school.
“It could also affect the child’s extracurricular activities and social relationships.”
According to the paediatrician, accidents and injuries, behavioural problems, mood swings, memory and learning problems, performance problems and slow reaction to issues are often attributed to sleep disorder.
The paediatrician explained that parents could help their children out of this problem by taking special time to study their sleep disorder.
“Parents should establish a regular time for bed each night and should not vary from it and the waking time should not differ from weekly to week end by more than one to one and half.
“Children should not be given drinks and foods with caffeine less than six hours before bed time.
“Mothers should make sure that the noise level in the house is low and avoid giving children large meals close to bed time,’’ he advised
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