What Is Childhood Insomnia?

Does your child hate bedtime? It could be due to childhood insomnia. Also referred to as bedtime resistance, childhood insomnia can be caused by restless leg syndrome, stress, nightmares, a medical or mental health condition, an irregular schedule, medication, or caffeine. If your child is struggling with their bedtime or displays morning fatigue symptoms, One Community Health can help! 

Signs of Child Insomnia

Insufficient sleep can affect a child’s relationship with their parents and their performance at school. If your child does everything they can to resist going to bed, they could be suffering from insomnia. Symptoms of childhood insomnia include:

  • Difficulties with learning and memory
  • Poor academic performance 
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Irritability and poor emotional control
  • Disruptive behavior 
  • Difficult parent-child relations
  • An increase in accidental injuries
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


How Is Child Insomnia Diagnosed?

There are three common types of childhood insomnia. The first is sleep-onset association type, which means that the child will not fall asleep without a specific person or object. The second type is limit-setting, where the child will stall their bedtime in order to avoid sleeping, and occurs when parents will not set a hard boundary. 

The third type is combined childhood insomnia, where the child displays behaviors indicative of both the first two types. In order to properly diagnose childhood insomnia, we recommend that parents keep a sleep diary. A detailed account of what time your child falls asleep as well as any stalling methods they might attempt or how often they get up in the middle of the night will help with diagnosis. 

Help for Childhood Insomnia in Sacramento

Sleep is a very important part of childhood development. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can affect mood, behavior, and physical health. During our well child visits, we monitor your child’s health so we can ensure that they are meeting their development goals.  If your child is having trouble sleeping or if they exhibit signs of childhood insomnia, contact us to schedule a wellness exam today!


Photo by Igordoon Primus on Unsplash

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