Children’s Sleep Disorders

Many children experience sleep disorders. Children’s sleep disorders vary widely from night terrors and sleepwalking to serious breathing disorders. The most common causes of daytime sleep are insufficient sleep at night and abnormal or other unhygienic sleep practices.

Many Children have Sleep Disorders

About 30% of children have sleep disorders in their childhood. The sleep-environment history of a person is a very important factor when diagnosing children’s sleep disorders. A child cycles between light and deep sleep phases during sleep. During each light sleep, there is more chance for the child to wake up. Normally, school aged children need 9 to 12 hours of sleep at night. If a child can go to bed, fall asleep, wake up easily and not felt tired during the day, then he is getting enough sleep.

Children’s Sleep Disorders Symptoms are Different

The symptoms of children’s sleep disorders are often different than the symptoms of an adult. So it is important that for parents and caregivers give special attention when treating their children’s sleep disorders. The common symptoms include falling asleep in the classroom, during conversations, during a journey, or while watching the television or reading a book. Carelessness and mood swings are often symptoms of sleep disorders.

Common Sleep Disorders in Children

The most common sleep disorders in children include nightmares/night terrors, sleepwalking/talking, bruxism, head banging or rolling and bed-wetting (enuresis.) A child’s fear of the dark can worsen sleep disorders. This often results in nightmares. Sleepwalking, also called somnambulism) is a harmless disorder if the parents can make the environment safe. Talking while asleep is also harmless. Bruxism (grinding and gnashing the teeth during sleep) is an annoying sleep disturber. It can even lead to dental problems. Most children are head rollers or head bangers during their sleep. It is another harmless disorder that would normally disappear before adolescence. It is advisable to consult a doctor in case of prolonged occurrence of bed-wetting.

The most common breathing disorder derived from sleep disorders is apnea (OSA-Obstructive Sleep Apnea). It is very common in preschool-age children. Its symptoms are snoring, restless sleep, breathing interruption, chronic mouth breathing, difficulty awakening, bed-wetting and problems with school performance. Pediatric sleep disorders are mostly treatable diseases.