Dr. Peri Klass summarizes several sleep experts’ comments about information related to which comes first – behavior problems or sleep problems. The most likely answer is that it goes both ways and can create a bit of a tricky situation for families. When a little one does not get enough sleep, she has a harder time regulating her emotions and behavior. She is probably also more amped up than usual. When she has a hard time regulating her behavior, she is probably more likely to melt down and tantrum, which makes it harder for families to do what they have to do to get her more sleep. Another thing to remember is that there is a lot of individual variability in sleep for babies and children – in other words, all little ones are different! Paying attention to your little one’s individual needs and patterns related to sleep can help when creating routines and schedules for your family.
Read the full article by Perri Klass, M.D. at The New York Times