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Sleep Disorders

Is my toddler sleeping too much?

10/31/2005

Question:

My 13 month old daughter sleeps about 18 hours a day (but anywhere between 16-20 hours), every day and is a bear if she is awake more that 2-3 hours at a time. My pediatrician ran blood tests for lead an anemia all tests were fine. The pediatrician said she was fine, but my gut is telling me she is not.--She`s sleeping her little life away!! Where else can I go or what other tests should I ask for? A typical day is 11-12 hours of sleep at night and two naps for 3-4 hours. If I wake her up she is extremely cranky and fussy. Normally she is very happy and very busy. I`d appreciate any advice. Thank you very much.

Answer:

Although it seems like a lot of time asleep, some normal 13 month olds can sleep 18 hrs. a day. A few key questions to answer before deciding if further evaluation is needed are:

1.a Is your daughter growing normally?

1.b Is she developing normal motor and cognitive skills for her age?

2. Has she had any medical problems ie: head injury, meningitis, etc.?

3. Is there a family history of excessive daytime sleepiness?

If the answers to these questions are 1. Yes 2. No 3. No Then further evaluation now is unlikely to uncover a problem.

If you would like further information I recommend the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website.  In addition to information about sleep medicine, the website also contains a list of accredited Sleep Centers and may help you to locate one nearest you.

For more information:

Go to the Sleep Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Splaingard, MD Mark Splaingard, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University