Child and Adolescent Sleep Troubles
Sleeping well is a learned skill that begins in infancy and can be disrupted by physical problems or psychological, behavioural or emotional issues.
Sleep problems in children include:
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Difficulty waking early
- Being unable to return to sleep
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Sleep walking
There are some signs to look out for, that indicate the need to investigate sleep issues in your child. They include if a child or adolescent:
- is always hard to get out of bed
- seems tired
- becomes easily upset by small matters
- is hyperactive
- is overly sensitive and finds socializing difficult
- has problems at school, with learning and concentration problems
- has difficulty remaining on task and co-operating with others.
How we can help
The first step is always to ensure there are no underlying physical or neurological difficulties, like obstructive sleep apnoea or seizures. Once these are ruled out we can explore the social, emotional, and personal issues which may be causing the difficulty.
We can help identify the possible role of technology at night in creating sleep disturbance. The child or adolescent’s body clock can become disrupted and day and night reversed.
We also consider whether limits need to be set around bedtime to help the child learn to manage themselves.
Other difficulties like bullying, worry about school or family tensions/arguments, are also explored as these may underpin a child’s sleep difficulties. If these are such issues we will help address them to restore good sleep.