Some people may think that sleep consulting is all things baby: but, I'd say a good two thirds of the families that I support are in-fact older children!
Let's think about it; children are under a lot of pressure to "perform" at school, play sports, reach their age appropriate milestones, make and maintain friendships; never mind thrive amongst the madness that was 2020! That's a lot for any little person, never mind one that is sleep deprived.
An overtired baby is fairly easy to spot but once little ones pass the baby stage, overtirdeness can present itself in many ways; all of which can be major disruptors and cause a great deal of stress to both little ones and their parents. If a teacher provides feedback describing a child that is struggling to concentrate, acting out towards other children or no longer academically performing in a way that they once were; as parents our mind can go into overdrive thinking of what could be causing the problem. Is it the school itself? Are we dealing with a learning difficulty? Could they have ADHD? Are they getting too much screen time, too much stimulation? Are they just unhappy?? While any of these could be the root cause of the issues, it could also be as simple as; this child is seriously overtired.
An overtired baby is fairly easy to spot but once little ones pass the baby stage, overtirdeness can present itself in many ways; all of which can be major disruptors
Busy family schedules are very much the norm and let's say for example, a 5 year old is waking themselves for the day before 5:00am, then at school for breakfast club at 7:30, in school until 3:00, playing sports at 5:00, home at 6:00, dinner at 7:00, bath at 8:00, then finally falling into bed at 8:30, bursting with keyed up energy and messing around in their room until passed 9 o'clock; before finally crashing and passing out. You may look at this schedule and think, this kid is full of energy and just doesn't need that much sleep! Or, you might be like me and think, this poor child must be exhausted! In this example, this child is waking very early for the day (a natural response to falling asleep too late) and missing out on around 4 hours of sleep a night due to over-tiredness which will make this busy schedule very challenging to get through. When these patterns continue for a period of time, we're then dealing with a large sleep debt.
Sleep consulting support for older children is equal parts sleep timings and behavioral strategizing
Sleep hygiene, which means habits and practices that are safe and conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis, are incredibly important for children of all ages and when this is off, we start to see an unraveling of mood, behaviors and capabilities of our children. They understandably find it hard to concentrate, tolerate packed schedules or thrive under academic challenges; they simply can't handle it well while suffering with a lack of sleep.
Sleep consulting support for older children can create a tremendous amount of positive change to not only the child, but family life in general and more importantly, help your child thrive and reach their full potential!