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Healthy sleep is essential for a child’s growth and development. Bedtime resistance and sleepwalking are common problems in young children. They occur in about 20 to 30 percent of infants, toddlers and preschool children. Behavioral strategies can treat these problems in young children who are under 5 years of age.



Disrupted sleep and insufcient sleep can have a negative effect on a child’s health and well-being.

Untreated sleep problems in early childhood can persist as children get older.

Bedtime problems and night wakings can frustrate parents and disrupt family routines.

Behavioral treatment can help children sleep better, which also can improve parents’ well-being.

Is My Child at Risk ?

Bedtime resistance is more common when parents or caregivers fail to enforce consistent bedtime limits. Night wakings are normal and common in children. These awakenings can become a problem when the child depends on a parent’s help to return to sleep.


Bedtime resistance occurs when children stall or refuse to go to bed. These behaviors test the limits established by parents. When parents enforce consistent bedtime limits, children tend to fall asleep quickly. Bedtime resistance in children can include:

Infants are not expected to sleep through the night with regularity until they are 3 to 6 months of age.

As children become toddlers, night wakings remain a common and normal part of sleep. Problems can arise when children are unable to return to sleep without help from a parent or caregiver.

Sleep problems that frst appear in infancy may persist as the child grows older. Sleep problems can affect a child’s learning, mood, attention, behavior and health. A child’s sleep problems also can cause stress for parents, caregivers and siblings.

Ongoing sleep problems may be a sign of a sleep disorder. Behavioral treatment of bedtime problems can have positive effects on how the child acts during the day. Treatment also can improve the well-being of parents or caregivers.


The goal of treatment is to help children learn how to fall asleep and return to sleep on their own. Research supports using these methods for children under 5 years of age:

Testing At Home

Tips for better sleeping

Create a calm, soothing sleep environment in your child’s bedroom.

Set a consistent bedtime for your child.

Develop a relaxing bedtime routine to help your child get ready for bed.

Don’t let your child drink sodas that have caffeine.

Keep the TV and other electronic devices out of your child’s bedroom.

Turn off the TV, computer, video games and handheld devices at least 1 hour before bedtime.

Next Steps

Southwest Florida Sleep Doctor, Sleep Disorder, sleep disorder center, Sleep Doctor Near Me, sleep apnea diagnosis


Imtiaz Ahmad, MD, MPH, FCCP

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad is a highly qualified physician, Board Certified in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. He has been actively serving the community of Lee County, Florida since 2004, with a strong focus on a proactive healthcare approach. Dr. Ahmad has received advanced training from some of the most prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, Cornell University, State University of New York at Brooklyn, and the University of Mississippi. SOMNAS is a medical facility that is committed to improving and maintaining the health of patients with sleep disorders. The expert team at SOMNAS is known for their compassionate and high-quality care. They offer unparalleled treatment and care to patients on the Gulf Coast of Florida, ensuring a better and healthier life for them.

Job Title: Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine

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Somnas offers state-of-the-art diagnostic options to identify specific sleep disorders and manage them using the latest treatments and therapies with an individualized treatment plan to ensure long-term optimal outcomes.