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Doctor: Hectic holidays can wreak havoc on kids’ sleep schedules

PHOENIX — The upcoming holidays can wreak havoc on a child’s sleep schedule, a doctor said.

“Little kids definitely resist bedtimes and it’s always a struggle,” Dr. Rupali Drewek, director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said.

“If they’re not sleeping adequate hours, it can cause a lot of behavioral concerns,” she added.

When little kids aren’t getting enough sleep it can cause symptoms typically seen in ADHD — crankiness, hyperactivity, problems paying attention and outbursts, Drewek said.

“Generally, they’re just sleepy during the day,” she said.

The proper amounts of sleep generally depend on age.

“Newborns actually need about 16-18 hours of sleep, and that’s scattered throughout the day,” she said. “Preschoolers need about 11-14 hours a day. They’ll sleep about 12 hours at night with a 2-hour nap during the day.”

Drewek said children respond best to regular routines and that includes bedtime. She advised parents try to keep the bedtime routine — such as taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a book and then going to bed — in the same order when possible, she said.

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