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The pandemic may affect your child's sleep pattern

A local sleep specialists is noticing that children are struggling with more anxiety which is affecting the way they sleep.

TOLEDO, Ohio — During the pandemic we have had to adjust to the new normal.

Kids learning virtually and not having a set time to get out of bed and ready for school may cause an irregular sleep schedule. 

A local sleep specialist has noticed that children are now struggling with more anxiety which is affecting the way they sleep. 

"The effect of pandemic causing mental health of children we see it in every day in our practice sleep clinic and also we see it in the hospital" said Pediatric Sleep Specialist, Dr. Hassan Dbouk.

If you notice your child not sleeping well at night Dbouk recommends changing up your routine during the day. For an example, have your child do some sort of exercise and minimize your child's screen activity with their iPads and tables. Also it's important to be patient with your child as their sleep pattern won't change back to normal overnight.  

"They have been sleeping after midnight every day up and wake up at 10 a.m., this will not adjust by itself you have to do it gradually. Maybe 30 minutes at a time, so most important things is persistence. Do it every day and do it gradually," said Dbouk.

He added that if your child has a learning disability or anxiety, some of their symptoms might worsen if they're not getting the proper amount of sleep at night. 

"If you have a poor quality of sleep your anxiety will get worse so it's kind of a two-way relationship with sleep in anxiety," said Dbouk.

Dbouk said try to make bedtime enjoyable for your child and encourage them that sleep is good for them and to not use sleep as a form of punishment. 

"Sleep is, they have to enjoy it, they have to go to bed to relax. Tell them a story they do fun things to relax then they go to sleep because if it becomes like a punishment they look at it and start to develop some sort of an anxiety about it," said Dbouk.

If  you have been noticing your child having frequent nighttime syndromes such as bed wetting, sleep walking or waking up at night, you can reach out to your pediatrician for help.  

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