2 thoughts on “Does Your Child Have Sleep Problems?

  • September 12, 2009 at 6:40 am

    a friend of mine went through a divorce about 5 years ago. At the time his daughter was around 5 years old. She is 9 now and whenever she visits him she has trouble sleeping at now. She invariable winds up in his bed – sometimes he doesn’t even hear her come in. He’s very troubled and distraught about the situation. It’s sad when he hears her whimpering in the middle of the night and she’ll often call her mother to talk her through it for 10 minutes or more. Not only does the daughter need help overcoming this problem but her dad, who already wrestles with insomnia, ends up starting the week with very little sleep. He has tried being firm with her – he sends her back to her bed (at which time she no doubt calls her mom)but she still sneaks in at some point during the night. Is this her way of dealing with the separation anxiety since the divorce?…is it just about manipulation in trying to regain control?…I’d appreciate any advice you can give. (p.s. – i am just a friend, not a girlfriend so that angle needn’t be considered)

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  • April 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Also, if you can’t find another cause and treatment, please consider OCD or another anxiety disorder, particularly for older kids and teens. Anxiety keeps the child awake and prevents sleeping and often causes nightmares. In fact, unexplained sleep problems may be the most obvious symptom of these disorders. (OCD often has NO obvious compulsions) Possible ADHD could also be a cause. And if the sleep problems do not improve, PLEASE PLEASE get our child or teen evaluated for a mental health problem, particularly mood disorders and anxiety disorders. It doesn’t hurt to get an evaluation and may prevent a years and years of problems down the line.

    I developed childhood OCD and anxiety at age 10 and for the next 10 years had persistent sleep problems and insomnia. My parents always assumed it was typical “teenage behavior” and that I was choosing to stay up, when in reality, I was living a nightmare where I would get really anxious or panic at bed time. Not amount of punishment, bribery or self-control would get me to sleep on time. I attended everyday of middle school and high school seriously sleep-deprived and missed on on a lot of other activities because I would sleep in the afternoons and all weekend.

    The sad part is that once I got properly diagnosed and treated my sleep problems vanished and now I can finally go to sleep easily! Too bad it took 10 years…

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