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Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Tammy | 2018/04/19

Q.

Why does my child need so much sleep?

My 5.5 year old son NEEDS a lot of sleep. After a busy day at school he can be totally overwhelmed, starts melting down, and the only thing that solves the emotional mess is a good nap (at least 2 hours). And then he still can go back to bed at 7.30 and fall asleep within 15mins. On a normal school day he wakes up at 5.30 and crashes at about 18.30. On a day that he naps, he will wake up the same time, have a nap between 2 and 4pm and then be in bed by 7.30 (and then sleep through until 5.30am. He is quite a sensitive and emotional child and I find sleep is the only thing that helps him regulate properly... What I want to know, is if this is normal? I have always remembered him being a sleeper and he has always needed one nap more than his peers even from birth. He seems healthy and happy but recently a teacher has pointed out some other issues which I thought were totally normal because he has always been that way - so i really just want to check on this and start managing it early if need be. Any advice or comments would be appreciated...

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician
- 2018/04/19

Your son's sleep need for what appears to be excessive sleep may be something that he has got used to, almost a habit. However his need for extra sleep does seem to be excessive. It is unusual for boys of his age to need to sleep in the afternoon. It would be a good idea to ask his paediatrician to see him with a particular view to making sure that your son is not anaemic and that his thyroid tests are normal. The paediatrician may want to do some additional tests if thought necessary.

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