Children who struggle to go to sleep on their own and struggle to stay asleep are more likely to have problems adjusting to school, new research reveals.
The research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) also found one in every three Australian children have escalating sleep problems from when they are born to the age of five.
ABC news reports, the new research revealed how important it is to establish good sleeping behaviour in children.
Dr Kate Williams analysed the sleep behaviour of almost 3,000 children born in 2004 until they reached six to seven years of age.
She said while infants can be difficult with sleep, typically that issue resolves over time.
But for 30 per cent of the children experiencing behavioural sleep problems, the issue was not resolved.
“For those 30 per cent that continued to have problems, teachers later reported them as being the children having the most trouble adjusting to school,” Dr Williams said.
Dr Williams said reports from teachers of hyperactivity and emotional outbursts were more common in the children with behavioural sleep issues.
Dr Williams said parents should be persistent and consistent around sleep and bedtimes.
She said families struggling should seek help, and hopes increased awareness about sleep behaviour and its impact on children will encourage parents, carers and child care workers to try to identify and address issues before children reach school age.
“Ironing them out is important for school adjustment,” Dr Williams said.
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