Sleep Disorders In Children

There are two types of treatment for Sleep Disorders In Children, which are polysomnography and adenotonsillectomy. Obstructive sleep apnea in children causes irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties, and poor academic performance. 

It is very much mandatory for children as well as adults to get a solid 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes your child may wake up with a dry mouth and also feel tired throughout the day. This is one of the symptoms that your child is having a sleep disorder. Obstructive Sleep apnea is another term for a sleep disorder. 

It is most common in children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids or those with facial skin problems, such as scratched lips and palate. Children with neoplastic rheumatoid arthritis may also have sleep apnea, such as muscular dystrophy, which weakens the muscles involved in breathing. Around 50% of children experience a sleep problem in U.S. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs mainly in 1% to 5% of children.

Types Of Sleep Disorders In Children

Childhood Insomnia

Insomnia is unable to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This results in unrefreshing or non-restorative sleep. If your child is experiencing difficulty in sleeping three times a week, it means they are having childhood insomnia. Many times, the occurrence of these Common Sleep Disorders In Children depends on how your child spends his/her time before going to bed. Some of the causes of childhood insomnia are as follows:

  • Caffeine: children are usually attracted to various kinds of sodas and energy drinks that contain too much caffeine. This caffeine keeps kids awake at night. Try to avoid these types of drinks from your children as much as possible.
  • Stress: children are more likely to have different types of anxiety disorder and stress as much as an adult. Some issues like a struggle in keeping up in class, experience problems with friends, and sometimes being bullied cause stress. Sometimes it becomes impossible for children to sleep properly at night. 

Other medical issues like sleep apnea, nose allergies, growing pains, side effects of medications, or itchy skin from eczema. To cope up with this kind of sleep disorder at first make sure your child is using the bed only for rest. Also, ensure that their bedroom is comfortable and they are maintaining the same sleep schedule on weekends. With this don’t forget to check if your child is going to bed after having a light snack like milk or banana. 

Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Syndrome

Approximately 7% to 16% of adults have delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD). Some of the symptoms of DSWPD are as follows:

  • Unable to fall asleep: this is as same as insomnia. Children stay up at night due to social pressure like homework, cell phone use, or the internet. This makes this unable to fall asleep at the desired time. 
  • Unable to wake up: this happens due to falling asleep late at night. Due to the delay in sleeping at night, you are unable to get to the required time for your school or work. Thus, children with DSWPD often experience excessive sleepiness during the daytime. 

Sometimes your child may sleep well throughout the night with few or no awakenings once they fall asleep. When they don’t have to deal with stress or pressure. You can treat DSWPD by developing a good sleep habit in your child. Also shifting the sleep schedule 15 minutes ahead every night will help them get better sleep. You can also consult a doctor who may recommend melatonin or other natural sleep-inducing drugs. 


Hypersomnia is a kind of sleep disorder among various Sleep Disorders In Children where your child experiences daytime sleepiness even after having a good sleep time. Even if your child sleeps for extra hours at night it may become difficult for him/her to wake up in the morning. This condition is mainly caused if your child has any sort of brain injury, other sleep disorder, different types of depression disorders. This may not be a relevant cause but sometimes certain medication and drugs or alcohol abuse may cause hypersomnia in your child. Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Excessive sleepiness: your child may go through a huge amount of drowsiness throughout the day. They aren’t able to concentrate on their work or school. Also, it becomes difficult for them to stay awake for a long period.
  • Needing of nap: when your child has hypersomnia, he will more tend to get a nap at very inconvenient times. Your child won’t be able to control his sleep and also will be unable to show any interest in activities in school. 

Treating hypersomnia is easy. Make your child follow a regular sleeping schedule in a peaceful room. Avoid staying up late at night and consumption of caffeine or energy drink. You can also consult a doctor if the case gets worse. 


Parasomnia is a Sleep Disorders In Children that involves unusual and unwanted physical events or experiences that impair your sleep. Parasomnia can occur before or during sleep or sleep arousal. If you have parasomnia, you may have abnormal movements, talk, express emotions, or do unusual things. Parasomnias fall under two types of stages of sleep. Both of them are different from each other. These two are non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) and sleep and rapid eye movement (REM). Some of the symptoms of parasomnia in both the sleep stages are as follows:

  • Parasomnia in non-REM: Arousal disorder is another name for a non-REM sleep disorder. A child of age 5 and an adult 25 years old, both can save this. Children with non-REM will go through symptoms like sleepwalking, sleep terrors, eating disorders due to sleep, and confusional arousals. 
  • Parasomnia in REM sleep: in this condition, you will see your child moving his eye rapidly under the eyelid while sleeping. This increases their heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Some of the other symptoms are nightmare disorder, recurrent isolated sleep paralysis, and REM sleep behavior disorder (RSBD).

Some other symptoms are hallucination, bedwetting, groaning or catatonia, being tired all through the day, waking up disoriented and confused, etc. Some of them are sleep study or polysomnogram, video electroencephalogram, neurological exam, etc.

Moment Disorder

Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement come under movement disorder. This is one of the most harmful disorders among various Sleep Disorders In Children. This causes occasional bodily mobility disorders, that cause unpleasant sensations in the legs and cause a desire to move more. Symptoms worsen at night and can interfere with your baby’s sleep. Some of the symptoms of movement disorder are:

  • Trouble in walking: due to restless leg syndrome your child is unable to walk properly. He/she will often feel shaky legs while walking. They will feel an uncomfortable sensation in their leg like aching, throbbing, itching, crawling, or creeping.
  • Urge to get up: children with movement disorder will tend to walk around very frequently and more often. This may hamper their sleep at night causing sleep apnea. They will jiggle, stretch or flex to get relief.

In these situations, all you need to do is to consult a child doctor. 


You can easily improve your child’s sleep with some useful tips. Always try to set a regular time for bed every night and also create a relaxing bedtime routine. Check if the temperature of the room is comfortable for your child. Avoid them from taking any kind of energy drink or heavy meal. Keep your child away from TV, radio, mobile phone, music playing device, etc. when they are going to bed. If you see any symptoms of sleep disorders in your children then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. There are many periods of sleep disorder treatment which will help them and make their life healthy and happy.


What causes children to have trouble sleeping?

Some kids may not like staying alone and feel scared and worried about it. The main cause for trouble sleeping in your child can be fear or afraid of darkness. They may hear noises and fear the worst. Sometimes various Sleep Disorders In Children can cause them to not sleep during the night. This can cause nightmares to them some other reason in trouble sleeping is worry and stress, feeling uncomfortable, etc. 

How do I know if my child has a sleep disorder?

If your child is having a sleep disorder you will notice these signs in them:
1. Sleepwalking and having to do unusual movements during the night. 
2. Teeth grinding, bedwetting, restless during sleep.
3. Having trouble waking up in the morning.
4. Trouble in staying awake during the day.
5. Snoring and breathing pauses while sleeping. 

What is the strongest herb for sleep?

Herbs can treat several kinds of Sleep Disorders In Children. The best herb for sleep is lavender. Try to use lavender scented oil or candles while you are trying to sleep your children, this herb reduces pain, anxiety, and stress and helps in giving a good sleep. Lavender also gives your child a good deep sleep stage.

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