Do deaf babies sleep more? The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the child’s age, weight, and habits.
In general, babies born deaf tend to sleep for longer periods than babies fully hearing. In one study, babies who were deaf were found to sleep for significantly more hours than babies who were able to hear.
One study, for example, found that babies who were deaf slept about seven hours each night compared to about six hours for babies of normal hearing.
Another study found that babies who were deaf slept an average of almost 10 hours a day compared to the average of about eight hours for normally hearing babies.
The nine-year-old deaf boys still slept more than the seventeen-year-old non-deaf boys. [It is interesting to note here that the effect was evident even among those with similar IQs.]
Do deaf babies sleep more?
To understand why babies who are deaf sleep for a longer period, it is important to understand more about the development of sleep and its effects on the brain.
First and foremost, sleep is necessary for brain growth. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation may affect brain development by reducing growth hormone levels in the body.
The average deaf child goes to bed simultaneously as the hearing impaired child. Hard of hearing children need more time to sleep once in bed. The average deaf or hard of hearing child is less awake than the hearing impaired child, but, presumably, they stay awake longer once awake.
The average child with hearing impairment who is less than one year old sleeps about 15 hours a day, compared to 11.3 hours for the non-hearing impaired infants.
Unfortunately, once they reach the age of six months, they tend to sleep much less in an attempt to imitate their hearing peers.
What are the signs of a baby being deaf?
Some signs of a baby being born deaf may include:
This is just a partial list of some signs that may indicate that your baby is hearing impaired. He may have other signs as well. For further information, be sure to consult your doctor and pediatrician.
Signs of hearing impairment in infants
Signs which are often present in infants less than six months old who are born deaf include:
Often, these children experience similar problems with their fine and gross motor development.
Modern medical research has shown that there is a possibility that deaf babies sleep more than babies who can hear because they possess a strong sense of touch.
How to help your deaf baby sleep better?
1. Sign language is often the most effective way of communicating with a hearing impaired infant.
2. Always talk to your baby, even if you suspect he may not be able to hear you. However, watch for body language cues in the first few months.
3. Even if your baby can hear, you can use finger language. For example, point to things with your index finger, which is the hand your baby cannot see because it is resting on his stomach. Point to other objects with your thumb (belly button) and middle finger (feet).
4. Another way of helping a deaf infant sleep better is by placing white noise or a fan in various house parts. These produce sounds that are similar to white noise. Your baby will be able to sleep and not be as bothered by the noises in your home.
5. Serve regular meals and snacks at the same time each day. This will help your baby develop a routine for when he needs to eat and sleep.
6. Your baby may also have a favorite toy or comfort item. You should always keep this close to him, even if he appears asleep because it will make him feel safe and secure while he sleeps.
Sleep Issues with Deaf Children
Children with hearing impairments may have issues with sleep that are related to their hearing impairment. However, there are also some behavioral reasons for children to have problems with sleeping after being diagnosed as a child who is deaf.
Another study has found that most children with hearing impairments had sleep problems. This was one of the most common complaints from parents of children with hearing problems compared to other conditions.
Are deaf children bad sleepers?
According to the article “Are deaf children bad sleepers?” by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, there is a tendency for hearing impaired people have problems with sleeping.
The Causes of Sleep Problems for Deaf Children:
1. Family uproar – The family may be noisy and not understand that their actions may disturb a child with hearing impairment in his sleep.
2. The hum of home appliances – The devices that run on electricity make sounds that can affect the sleeping environment of a hard-of-hearing child.
3. The presence of a breathing machine – A child with breathing problems may be affected by sleep disturbances if a machine is necessary to breathe.
4. Effort to hear – Some children try so hard to hear that they become more alert and have difficulty sleeping.
5. Auditory Processing – It is difficult for hearing-impaired children to process sounds. It may not be able to put them together in the correct sequence, making it difficult for them to sleep.
6. Poor cooperation – Children with hearing impairments may not cooperate as well with their parents and siblings in terms of sleeping.
Effects of Sleep on a Deaf Child
Aside from the above factors, behavioral and physiological effects may also affect the sleep of a hearing impaired child.
1. Sleep apnea – If a child has sleep apnea, he may not be able to breathe while asleep sufficiently. This can lead to poor metabolism while asleep or lessened energy levels throughout the day.
2. Narcolepsy – Narcolepsy is a neurological problem that may lead to sleep attacks during the day or even while the subject is asleep.
3. Irritability – If a child has trouble sleeping, he may have difficulty controlling his behavior and may become irritable throughout the day.
4. Hyperactivity – Children who have issues with their sleeping patterns are also likely to suffer from hyperactivity, resulting in significant issues with learning and behavior.
5. Depression – Poor sleep can make an already troubled child more depressed and may trigger suicidal thoughts in some cases.
6. Sleep paralysis – If a child has poor sleeping patterns, he may also experience sleep paralysis, which is the distress that some people feel when unable to move or breathe while asleep.
7. Nightmares – A child who has difficulty sleeping may also have nightmares, disturbing for both the parent and the child involved.
How do you get your deaf baby to go to sleep?
1. Rock Have the baby lay flat on a soft surface, such as a mattress or a crib. Lay your hand over his tummy and sing baby songs or talk to him softly. Then, rock him gently from side to side. This method has often worked very effectively for deaf babies and will keep them very relaxed.
2. Swaddling Babies who are particularly fidgety and need extra help staying asleep may benefit from being swaddled. Try wrapping them tightly in a blanket, using clothes that do not have patterns, and avoiding anything with buttons.
3. Walk Have the child walk around the room quietly for 20 minutes before bedtime. This can help him relax, especially if his favorite toy is with him.
4. Try Different Sounds Play soothing sounds from the radio or TV to help the baby fall asleep. In addition, you can play music CDs or watch movies that feature calming soundtracks. You can try playing the lullaby, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” to help calm him down while he naps or falls asleep.
5. Have a Lights Out Ritual Have the child lay on their back and slowly lower the lights in the room over time. This is a simple way to get the baby used to their sleep area, and she will find it easy to nap and sleep within this environment.
6. Be Consistent A baby needs routine, consistency, and familiarity to help them fall asleep at night.
Do deaf children have a hard time sleeping?
Yes. They may have a harder time falling asleep or staying asleep. However, there are ways that parents and caregivers can help make it easier for children who are deaf to fall asleep.
Many parents have had success with putting their baby to sleep in a swing or a cradle, either of which will provide soundproofing for the child. Specifically, babies who are deaf can choose the rocking motion of these cradles, which will soothe them to sleep.
There are many misconceptions about deaf children which can affect their lives. Many parents worry about the hardest parts of raising a child who is deaf.
However, most of these worries are unfounded, and there are many things that parents can do to help deaf children fall asleep and stay asleep.
A child who is deaf has enough to worry about in terms of his hearing impairment without also having problems with sleeping. Thankfully, there are ways to help him fall asleep and stay asleep for the night to rest well through the day.
I hope that this article helped you understand why deaf children may have difficulties sleeping or falling asleep. I hope it helped you to be able to help your child sleep better. To know more information, please comment below!
How Long Does It Take For A Deaf Baby To Learn To Sleep On Their Own?
Unfortunately, it takes a long amount of time for them to learn how to sleep independently. However, once they do, they’ll only be getting better.
Do Deaf Babies Cry More?
Some studies say yes, but others say that they sleep just as well.
How Do Deaf Babies Communicate With Their Parents While They Sleep?
In most cases, they communicate the same way a hearing baby would. They wake up if there is any noise, feel the need to eat or drink, cry if there is pain, etc.
Do Deaf Babies Babble Less?
No, babies who are deaf babble in the same way as hearing babies do.
Is It Safe For A Baby To Sleep In A Swing?
Yes, as long as they are placed in the swing’s safe area, which has a backrest and headrest. Soundproofing is important here.
Do Deaf Children Have Difficulty Falling Asleep?
Deaf children may have difficulty falling asleep at bedtime or waking up during the night and stop breathing at night.
Do Deaf Babies Cry Differently?
Yes, babies who are deaf have very similar crying habits as normal babies.