Every parent knows the importance of a good night’s sleep to a child’s behavior and well-being. While most kids experience the occasional bad night, some are affected by disorders that routinely disturb their sleep and daily functioning. Sleep-wake disorders is an umbrella term for more than a dozen specific conditions that impair the quality or quantity of sleep a child gets enough to undermine her overall health and functioning. The most common of these disorders in children and adolescents is insomnia, difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep.
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Fitful, interrupted sleep
- Teeth grinding during sleep
- Recurrent nightmares
- Difficulty breathing while asleep
- Dozing off mid-task
- Trouble focusing, especially during school assignments.
- Mood swings
Treatment for Sleep-Wake Disorders
Treatment for sleep-wake disorders may include psychotherapy, medication or both. Talk therapy can help a child understand why he or she may have difficulties involving sleep, and cognitive behavior therapy can help adjust certain habits, such as teeth grinding, associated with sleep-wake disorders. A range of pharmacological options are also available to help treat the wide variety of conditions found within sleep-wake disorders.