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My 5yr Old Son Has Daytime Behavioral Issues, Especially When He Does Not Get A Nap

by Marie
(Vernon, CT)

My 5yr old son has always been a good sleeper and a deep sleeper. Around the ages of 1-2 he would have spurts of night terrors in which we tried rearranging our schedules to give him the rest he needed.

When he missed a nap he was a terror to deal with and now that he is in kindergarten he can no longer take a nap each day and by the time he gets home at night he is very on edge (happy one minute and angry the next), very defiant, aggressive and fresh with his words and can even become very emotional for any reason where he will cry hysterically (this last part is new). He even tells me some days that he is falling asleep at school.

He is getting about 9 hrs of sleep during the weekdays. I have tried helping him get more sleep however my husband's work schedule and my own don't allow us to get them home from daycare until about 5:30pm just in time to get dinner started. I have recently been thinking he may have a sleep disorsder. Are there any thoughts out there to share? Thank you!!

Kevin: Hi Marie, Thanks for writing in. If your son's sleep quantity is large enough that it seems he shouldn't be experiencing daytime sleepiness like he is, then looking into his sleep quality is a great idea. Could anything be disrupting his sleep such that the quantity gets eroded by the lack of quality?

Sleep apnea is typically a great place to start in answering this question. Does he snore or appear to have any breathing problems at night when he sleeps? Does he have large tonsils? Reading up on sleep apnea and seeing if it matches with your son at all is a great first step.

Feel free to update this page with how his progress has been, and anything you've learned that you'd like to share. We're wishing you all the best!


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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