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Sleep Problems in Children

If you are a parent, then surely you will be worried about the different sleep problems in children. The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated; it is the time when the body heals itself and the time when our body grows. Children require more sleep than adults since their bodies are in an ever growing state. Given below are the optimum amounts of sleep which your child should get every day:

Sleep Problems: Does Your Child Get Enough Sleep?

  • New Born Babies: Up to 16 hours a day
  • Children between 1-5: 12 hours of sleep a day
  • School Child: Up to 10 hours a day of sleep.

If your child does not receive his or her share of regular, peaceful sleep then it is a cause for concern. Lack of proper sleep has severe repercussions in the development of your child; in case of a sleeping disorder it may even lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure and in rare cases even death.

A child sleeping in school due to the lack of sleep

Sleep problems in children are much more common than in adults, and diagnosing sleep problems is easier said than done. As they say knowledge is power, by the time you finish reading this article, you would have gained information on the various sleep problems which are commonly faced by children, you can then check and find out if your child has any sleeping problem.

Common Sleep Problems, Causes in Children:

Sleep problems are defined as any behavioral or environmental trigger which interferes with peaceful sleep. Sleep problems in children can be due to two main reasons:

  • Sleep Hygiene: Sleep hygiene or Sleep habits play an important role in inducing and maintaining sleep. If your child has a bad sleep hygiene it will cause problems in sleep! But if you can inculcate in your child proper sleep hygiene, your child will gain regular peaceful sleep, thus improving the development of your child. It includes a proper time for sleep, no daytime naps, regular exercise etc.
  • Sleep Disorders: These are medical disorders of the sleep pattern of your child, based on trigger they are classified as parasomnias and dyssomnias.

The Primary sleep problems in children which are commonly found:

  • Night Terrors: Night terrors or Pavor Nocturnus is a common sleep disorder which causes children to experience extreme terror and fear. If your child suffers from this condition, he or she will bolt upright and start screaming after a short span of time, the episode will pass and your child will go back to sleep. In most cases this condition will go away by itself once adolescence is reached.
  • Somniloquy: Somniloquy is a condition where the child will talk while asleep; this condition is not harmful in any manner and can be left without treatment.
  • Sleep Apnea: This condition is defined as abnormally low or the lack of proper breathing. It is caused when an obstruction occurs in the air passageway. This condition is extremely dangerous and can causes severe health problems in the child. It is usually diagnosed only when someone notices the episode as it hits the child.
  • Sleepwalking: This condition occurs when the part of the brain that controls movement is aroused, this will cause the child to walk but the child will be asleep even while walking and he or she will have no recollection of the episode the next day. If your child sleep walks, then precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of the child.

The sleep problems faced by young children are different from those faced by older ones. In the next paragraph, we shall take a look at the different sleep problems in young children.

The Different Sleep Problems in Young Children

Sleep problems in young children are different than those found in pre adolescence children. The most commonly found problems are:

  • Nocturnal Enuresis: Commonly known as Bed Wetting, it is the involuntary urination while the child is asleep, it is considered bedwetting when the child urinates after he or she has gained bladder control. It may occur rarely or nightly, mostly bedwetting is caused due to genetic, neurological development disorder. It is not a mistake of the child, and the child usually grows out of it after a few years.
  • Grinding Teeth: Bruxism as it’s also known is a condition in which the child will grind his or her teeth while sleeping. It is caused due to stress, misalignment of teeth or due to pain.
  • Nightmares: They are bad dreams which cause feelings of fear and make your child to shout, cry etc. It occurs due to the imagination or new experiences which may have been scary.
  • Snoring: It occurs when there is a partial block in the air passageway; this causes vibrations as the air passes through it. These vibrations are the snores that people here.

Night Waking in Children- A Common Sleep Problem and Symptom

Secondary Sleep Disturbances, these are more commonly found than primary disorders, they may be caused due to a plethora of factors. Of all the secondary disturbances, night waking in children causes a lot of distress to parents. Thankfully a variety of treatments and strategies can be used to control the issue.

Most sleeping disorders will cause night waking in children, so it is an important symptom! If you notice this symptom in your child, then look for others. It will allow for easy diagnosis and subsequent treatment of sleep problems in children.


  1. Ya well with computer games and TV kids are having their sleep patterns completely disturbed. I would not be surprised if we see more and more sleep problems in kids.

  2. When reading this article on sleep problems in children I starting wondering if my kids are having enough sleep… if lack of sleep is really so important I think I am going to check on the amount they sleep more carefully