Sleep Problems: Description of common sleep problems

Sleep Problems: Description of common sleep problems

Sleep Problems: Description of common sleep problems

BY Namra Sarwar


 It is a sleep problem that occurs when a child complains of difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, and/or early morningInsomnia awakenings. There are many causes of insomnia. It can be due to stress, pain, or a medical or psychiatric problem. It can become long-term if the primary cause is not addressed.  Treating underlying conditions, developing good sleep practices and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can improve the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.


NightmaresThese are consist on fear-provoking dreams that occur during REM sleep and awaken a child.  They usually occur in the later part of the night.  Most childre n have at least one nightmare during childhood; three percent of preschool and school aged children experience frequent nightmares, according to NSF’s 2004.  Nightmares can result from a scary event, stress, a difficult time or change in a child’s routine.  Use of a nightlight or security object is often helpful.


Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)RLS

It is a movement disorder that includes uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings (e.g. crawly tingly or itchy) in the legs that caused an overwhelming urge to move.  These feelings make it difficult to fall asleep.  RLS can be treated with changes in bedtime routines, and possibly medications.

Sleep TalkingSleep Talking

This occurs when the child talks, laughs or cries out in his/her sleep. As with sleep terrors, the child is unaware and has no memory of the incident on the next day.  There is usually no need to treat sleep talking.


Sleep Walking Sleep Walking

It is experienced usually between ages three and seven.  Sleepwalking usually occurs an hour or two after sleep onset and may last five to 20 minutes.  As sleep deprivation often contributes to sleepwalking, moving bedtime earlier can be helpful.

Sleep Terrors

Sleep TerrorsThis occurs early in the night.  A child may scream out and be distressed, although she/he is not awake or aware during a sleep terror. Sleep terrors may be caused by not getting enough sleep, an irregular sleep schedule, stress, or sleeping in a new environment. Increasing sleep time will help reduce the likelihood of a sleep terror.


It occurs when there is a partial blockage in the airway that causes a noise due to the vibration of the back of the throat.  About l0-12 percent of normal children habitually snore.  Snoring can be caused by nasal congestion or enlarged adenoids or tonsils that block the airway. Some children who snore may have sleep apnea.

Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea

When snoring is loud and the child is having difficulty breathing, it may be a sign of a more serious disorder.  Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep caused by blocked airway passages, resulting in repeated arousals from sleep.  Sleep apnea has been associated with daytime sleepiness, academic problems, and hyperactivity.  Treatment for sleep apnea is available.

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January 8, 2016 / by / in ,
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