Anne Marie Tiernon/ Eyewitness News shares
If your child seems increasingly irritable, is suddenly wetting the bed or problems are developing at school, you might want to look into how they are spending the night.
10-year-old Anthony Stone knows about sleeping troubles.
“I toss and turn all night and can’t hardly even sleep.” Anthony says he is tired when he gets up and his mom can tell.
“Getting him up in the morning, it’s very hard,” Evelyn Stone said.
It isn’t just at home that Anthony is having problems, he notices it at school. “When I go to school it’s hard to do some of my work because I’m tired.”
He also has headaches. So, the Stone’s doctor ordered a sleep study.
They put electrodes on Anthony’s head and other key points. Anthony then spent the night in a hotel-like room with specialized lighting where the workers at the Saint Francis Sleep Disorders clinic recorded what happened while he slept.
They found, a night of fragmented sleep because Anthony would briefly wake to breathe.
“They are significant as you can see he’s had three or four in a row here in the past few minutes, ” said Dr. Meredith Cousin, JWM Neurology. ” This is a clear respiratory event.”
The likely cause is an enlarged tonsil.
“Ultimately if the tonsils are removed, and the adenoids as well, their headaches will improve and their sleep will improve,” said Dr Keith Ridel, Pediatric Neurologist.
The diagnosis surprised Anthony’s mom.
“I was totally shocked I never thought of that honestly. I mean it never even dawned on me that it could be his tonsils,” Evelyn Stone said.
Anthony is set for surgery and is working to limit stimulants in the bedroom. He hopes it all pays off in personality and school performance.
“I won’t be that much grumpy” Anthony said. “It will actually affect my grades really good because I will probably get more good grades than I am now.”
A recent study of 510 children at Northwestern University Medical Center found that less sleep at night means more behavior problems during the day.
To help make sure your child is getting a good night’s sleep, start with the clock. If you have to get up at 6:30am, to get the minimum recommended sleep of 10 hours a night, elementary school children should be going to bed at 8:30PM. Pre-schoolers by 7:30PM.
Also the routine and the music should be the same every night. Get rid of any stimulants like the television and lights, the room needs to be dark and cool.
Other factors that don’t help are excess weight on kids or if someone in the house is a smoker.