Fatigue is a very common problem, and everyone, including children, feels it every now and then. Fatigue should go with taking rest or getting a good night’s sleep. if your 4-year-old was doing perfectly okay, but now he is suddenly tired all the time, and the fatigue doesn’t go away, it’s a sign that something is wrong, but not necessarily something serious.
What are some signs of over-tiredness or fatigue in preschoolers? Here they are:
- Crying over every little thing
- Being overactive or underactive
- Snoring when they fall asleep
- Having potty accidents even after being potty trained
- Kids at age 4 don’t usually verbally complain about being tired; instead, their behavior will be changed. But if your little one verbally complains that he is not well all the time, it’s best to see a doctor.
There are many reasons why a 4-year-old can be suddenly tired all the time. Let’s find out what are the main causes and how to overcome them.
1- Not getting enough sleep:
The very first and the most common reason for 4-year-olds to become tired all of a sudden is “not getting enough sleep.”
It’s normal for the child to become tired by the end of the day when they are close to their bedtime, but if your little one is not getting enough hours of sleep, he will become more tired during the daytime too.
A 4-year-old needs between 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day. Which is much more than the average sleep requirement for an adult. If your little one is going to bed and waking up with you, he might not get enough sleep.
Have a regular routine and schedule for your children. Put them to bed early at night.
If your children wake up when you wake up in the morning, put them to bed 3 hours before you go to sleep.
Focus on more “nighttime sleep hours”, because sleeping at night is more beneficial than sleeping during the daytime.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosures here.
2- Poor quality sleep:
Not only does the number of hours your child sleeps matter, but the quality of sleep your child is getting, also matters.
Sleep quality will be sacrificed if your child sleeps in a loud environment or sleeps with the lights on.
If he is restless while sleeping and snores loudly or wakes up several times at night, it’s a sign that his sleep is not of good quality.
Ensure that your little one sleeps in a quiet room with the light off. If you cannot cut the loud noises because of living in a big family or living around the main road, you can mask the noise with white noise.
Get a white noise machine from Amazon, it’s not very expensive, turn it on while you put your child to bed. The white noise will help the child sleep more peacefully and mask the loud noises outside.
Having a regular sleeping pattern is also important for peaceful and quality sleep. Cut screen time at least 2 to 3 hours before bed.
3- Stress or anxiety:
Stress and anxiety do not only happen in adults. Anyone can get them. Signs of stress and anxiety in kids are:
- Irritability and anger
- Worrying or being fearful
- Headache and/or stomach ache.
- Not sleeping peacefully
Stress can keep your 4-year-old tired all the time.
Many things can cause stress in kids, including homework, going to school, fighting with school friends, busy parents, not being around people they are attached to, or a new baby or a pet.
Figure out what’s causing stress and help your child. Teach him deep breathing techniques, and take him outside more often. Get him into a routine.
4- A lot of confectionaries:
Eating a lot of confectionaries is a common problem among kids. These sweet and savory things taste so good and give instant energy because of their sugar content, but they are not nutritious. If your child is overloading confectionaries, they won’t get nutrition and will suddenly become lethargic.
After stuffing their stomach with confectionaries, your child is less likely to eat a healthy meal that is required to fill their bodies with health and energy.
You usually cannot stop 4-year-olds from eating confectionaries if they have them available. At this age, kids start becoming independent, and they know how to get themselves listened to.
So, it is best not to keep such things at home. Only buy them a few candies or chocolate when they are going to eat them. Do not store them in your home. Kids know how to find them.
5- Lack of physical activity:
The human body needs physical activity, and kids need more of it. They need to jump and run to be more active, but they will become tired if they start lacking it.
According to NHS, 4-year-olds need at least 3 hours of physical activity per day. Otherwise, your active child may become suddenly tired all the time.
The solution is simple, get your child more physically active by providing him with physical activities. Only saying, “get up and go play,” is not enough, you must provide your child with activities, for example, enrolling them in games, setting indoor or outdoor playgrounds for them, arranging playdates, or playing with your kid yourself.
6- A side effect of medication:
Many medicines come with a side effect of lethargy. Especially allergy medications. If your 4-year-old is suddenly tired all the time, check on the side effects of the medication he is taking.
Talk to the doctor if you are concerned that your child is overly tired all the time after the start of the medication. Your doctor should guide you better.
7- Growth spurt:
Children can go through a growth spurt at any time. Your child will grow at a steady pace for some time, the visible growth will be negligible then suddenly, they will have a growth spurt.
They will become hungrier than usual. Your 4-year-old may become clingy or tired all the time all of a sudden.
The growth spurt may take up to 1 week.
Other than physical growth, mental growth spurts also happen. Say you see that your child is very hungry or tired all the time, and then all of a sudden, he is more mature than before, and he starts talking differently or asking more logical questions, this can be a sign of mental growth spurt also happening.
However, there is no scientific evidence behind it, but we see this happen many times.
Let your child grow, and give him all the love and care you can give.
8- Being underfed:
Is your 4-year-old eating properly, with 2-3 healthy meals and 2-3 healthy snacks? If not, he is likely to be underfed.
4-year-olds can understand hunger, but they usually do not communicate it verbally. Instead, they will be suddenly tired, clingy, and cry over little things.
Again! Cut the confectionery and unhealthy foods and replace them with healthy meals that are full of nutrition.
9- The start of school or something new:
Did your 4-year-old recently start school or change his school? Is there something new going on with his life? A new baby? A guest? A new pet?
Anything that changes your little one’s routine may put him under stress. The stress will then make your child tired all the time.
Give your child time to adjust to the new routine or a new person. Give him all the love he requires.
10- Being overactive:
I mentioned above that the lack of physical activity would leave your child tired and lazy but on the other hand, being overactive will also reap the same results.
4-year-olds need at least 3 hours of physical activity, but if they run and jump for over 5-6 hours (total, in a day), they will be tired.
Moderation is key. Create a mix of high-intensity physical activity (like running and jumping) and static activities (like coloring and creating art).
11- Side effects of screen time:
Excessive screen time affects children’s brains. It will make them more irritable. Kids end up being too tired and cry over little things because their brains are tired from all the stuff they’ve just watched.
Your child will not keep lying on the bed when he is tired, but he is likely to become over-active and out of control. Can you now relate your child’s behavior after watching the screen?
Helping your kid make new friends and providing them with active play will help you cut your child’s screen time.
12- anemia or other medical conditions:
Other than the above factors, medical conditions such as anemia will also make your child tired all the time. Anemia is very common among kids this age as they are usually picky eaters. They won’t easily eat healthy meals.
If your 4-year-old has other symptoms (other than suddenly being tired) like pale skin, being sick more often, slowed growth, or cold hands & feet, it can be a sign that you should pay a visit to the doctor.
Seek medical attention.
If your active 4-year-old is suddenly tired all the time, it means there is something wrong, either his body is not getting the balance of rest and physical activity, or he is under stress. A medical condition can also be a problem.
As a parent, you must figure out where the problem is lying and fix it. I have listed the most possible reasons and their possible solutions.