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Sleep problems and sleep disorders are common among children. Most sleep problems have warning signs. You should discuss these signs and symptoms with your child’s health care provider. Some sleep problems go away as a child grows and develops. Most ongoing sleep problems can be treated eﬀectively.
Sleep is essential for optimal health in children. Be sure that your child is getting enough sleep each night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children and teens get the following amounts of sleep on a regular basis to promote optimal health:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Warning signs include having trouble waking up in the morning and acting sleepy throughout the day. Other symptoms include a general lack of daytime energy and an unexplained decrease in daytime performance. Another warning sign is if your child takes naps at unusual times of day. However, it is normal for children to take naps up to about 5 years of age.
Difficulty falling asleep and problems sleeping through the night
At one time or another, most children have trouble sleeping through the night. It is more concerning if the problem becomes a nightly pattern or if it has a negative eﬀect on your child during the day.
It is normal for a child to be frightened by a vivid dream. However, frequent nightmares are much less common. Nightmares become a problem if they cause anxiety, distress or bedtime resistance.
Snoring or breathing pauses during sleep
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: CONTENT DEVELOPED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE