Getting good quality sleep is vital to the development of young bodies and minds. Good sleep helps to develop memory and alertness and strengthens the immune system. Research has shown that children who do not get enough sleep show poor concentration and attention, memory difficulties and even behavioural problems in school. Children who sleep better are less prone to sleep walking, nightmares, behavioural problems and moodiness. It is shown that 37% of children aged five to nine suffer at least one sleep related disorder.

The most common presentations of sleep disorders to be aware of are:Sleep disorders

  • Night sweats
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor appetite in mornings
  • Sleepy during the day
  • Poor attention span
  • Moody / aggressive
  • Crying spells
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep walking
  • Unable to sit still
  • Stomach complaints / colic
  • Achy legs

Children under 12 months should be receiving up to 14 hours of sleep, and children aged 5 to 12 years 10 hours. On top of this, quality of sleep is also extremely important. Despite receiving the correct hours of sleep children may still wake up tired and restless the next day. Poor sleep patterns in infants and children can cause difficulties not only for babies but also their parents.

Chiropractors can assess the musculoskeletal system and address any mechanical issues that could potentially prevent a comfortable night of sleep. Chiropractors can treat these underlying causes of sleeping difficulties, and target these sites specifically, with gentle and safe care. Soft tissue massage, mobilisations or gentle chiropractic adjustments can relieve the stress on children’s spines, leaving their bodies relaxed while sleeping.

Chiropractic treatment can help to increase flexibility and movement in joints which is especially important in the rib and chest area for breathing. Decreased flexibility in this area restricts the inspiration capabilities of the chest wall. While this might not be noticeable when awake the increased energy required to take a full deep breath takes its toll leaving them restless and tired in the morning.

The Chiropractors at Back to Basics Chiropractic can recommend mattresses and pillows that are specially designed to support growing bodies. Our Chiropractors will also offer advice on correct sleeping position, feeding and exercise during the day to help your child have a good night’s sleep. Call either our Kogarah, Parramatta or Bexley clinic today!

  1.  Chiropractic Care of a paediatric patient with reflux, irritable infant syndrome and sleep disorders Alacantara J, Anderson R The Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association 2008 Dec; 52(4) 248-255