Sleep Difficulties in Children
The majority of children and adolescents experience sleep problems at some time. There are a variety of sleep issues and a more thorough evaluation can be done by Tashawna K. Duncan, Ph.D., P.A.
What are the different types of sleep disorders?
- Repeated occurrence of frightening dreams that lead to awakening from sleep
- Dreams are often remembered
- Relatively common; about 10% of children are affected
- Onset usually occurs between ages three and six
- Children tend to outgrow this problem
- Repeated episodes of rising from bed during sleep and walking about
- No memory of the episode
- About 10-30% of children have at least one episode; actual disorder prevalence much lower
- Peaks at age 12 but often stops by late teens
- Recurrent episodes of abrupt awakening from sleep accompanied by screaming and crying
- Experience of intense physiological arousal and fear
- Very limited or no memory of episode
- Rare occurrence and is more prevalent in males and older children
- Onset usually occurs between ages four and 12 but usually stops in adolescence
Treatments for sleep difficulties
- Establish a bedtime routine (i.e., reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby)
- Help reduce your child’s anxiety since anxiety is often the trigger for sleep difficulties
- Keep your child active during the day
- Ignore your child’s attempts to get out of bed
- Consult your pediatrician
- Psychotherapy/Counseling by Tashawna K. Duncan, Ph.D., P.A.