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Could chronic sleep issues in kids lead to mental health issues later in life? The Doctors welcome psychiatrist Dr. Domenick Sportelli to discuss when a parent should be concerned about their child’s sleep issues.
Dr. Sportelli notes sleep is "profound" when it comes to a child's memory, growth and development, and emotional health. He references a study that found a link between chronic sleep issues and higher rates of mental health issues. But, he warns sleep problems occur in around 25 to 50 percent of young people, while a psychosis only occurs in around 7 to 10 percent of people.
He also notes that if someone is experiencing a mental health issue, that poor sleep will likely also occur and sleep issues will make the symptoms of the mental illness worse.
So when should parents be concerned about a child's sleep problems?
Dr. Sportelli says if kids are having trouble with any of the following:
- Falling asleep
- Staying asleep
- Sleep talking
- Breathing issues while sleeping
- Extreme snoring
Parents should first have the child evaluated by their pediatrician to determine the best treatment.