Children aged six to 12 sleep for around 10 hours a night. Those that get less sleep than they need can suffer from weight gain, depression, poor concentration, reduced creative ability and lower immunity to diseases. If they have sleeping difficulties, they tend to have problems more akin to adults such as worries often to do with school, friends or family. Nightmares are more unusual by this age.
Try to remember the importance you put into sleep routines when they were a baby, it is as important now as ever.
Bedwetting and continence problems
The frustration and extra work involved in managing this can put a strain on family life. Bedwetting occurs most nights in 15% of five-year-olds and is still a problem for 3% of all 15 year-olds. It can be viewed as a taboo subject, the real figures for older children could be much higher. It’s significant that night-time ‘nappies’ are widely available in sizes to fit children up to 15 years old.
There are many different strategies recommended to help parents deal with their child’s bedwetting. Some work for some families but not for others and there seems to be no definitive cure. Wet beds aren’t just an inconvenience, when an older child is still wetting at night it rules out fun experiences like school trips and sleepovers and can lead to embarrassment and fears about bullying. Talk to your school nurse or GP.