Be on the Lookout for These Reasons Your Child Isn't Sleeping Well

Helping kids to sleep through the night is a task that can help the entire family. Little ones can get the proper amount of sleep, and siblings can no longer encounter disruptions to their own slumber. Additionally, parents can feel better rested when they don't need to tend to their children all night. Identifying the reason why kids aren't sleeping is important in crafting a resolution. There are a wide variety of reasons in which a child may find themselves not sleeping well. From mental to medical, determining what it is wrong in a child’s sleep pattern can lead to an improved lifestyle.

1 - Nightmares or Night Terrors

Frightening experiences during the night can interfere with even the most restful of slumber. Nightmares and night terrors are not the same, and speaking with a doctor about the specific symptoms can help in crafting a specific plan for addressing these struggles. Parents who think about their own frightening experiences while sleeping can likely understand how harrowing these experiences can feel to a child.

2 - Past Trauma

Children may also have fears if frightening experiences have happened in the night before. For example, imagine how kids may feel if a fire or a break-in happened in the middle of the night, thereby waking them from their sleep in a terrifying fashion. Kids may worry that these situations will happen again in the future and keep themselves up at night with such thoughts. Reassuring children that these situations are uncommon may help. Also, parents can talk with their kids about what to do in such events so that the children feel more prepared.

3 - Other Frightening Elements

Kids can also worry that monsters are hiding under their bed or in the closet. They may also have fears of ghosts. Thinking about what movies or television shows children are watching, especially as bedtime approaches, may assist in ameliorating the situation. Changing patterns to enjoy gentler programs or to read books instead of staring at the screen can make for a more peaceful nighttime experience.

4 - Involuntary Urination

Children who are struggling with bed wetting also likely have trouble sleeping. They almost certainly feel uncomfortable if they go to the bathroom in the bed in the night. This can also be called enuresis. Having the kids wear diapers to bed and looking into absorbent mattress covers are both smart decisions. Some kids may also feel stressed out by the situation. In other words, they may feel embarrassed or anxious about going to the bathroom in the bed. Parents should let their children know when the situation has medical origins. In other words, reassuring children that the bed-wetting isn't their fault can help.

5 - Anxiety

When people think of anxiety, they may exclusively envision adults, but children can have anxiety too. Kids can have anxiety about a range of topics. For example, teenagers might feel stressed about getting into college or major exams that they have coming up. Young people can also feel anxious about social situations or when it comes to making a team. Many adults are familiar with the feeling of staying up half the night or struggling to fall asleep in the first place because they are anxious about the events of the next day.

6 - Caffeine and Sugar

While children are typically not drinking coffee like adults do, some teenagers might start to dabble in this world of caffeine. Even if they are not drinking coffee, they might have soda or other goodies loaded up with sugar too close to bedtime. Keep in mind that entirely forbidding these favorite treats is not necessarily required. Instead, parents can set a time limit. After a certain hour of the evening arrives, kids will be required to stay away from these items.

7 - Cell Phones

Texting friends and playing games on a cell phone might feel like relaxing ways to wrap up a day. However, such activities can actually interfere with how well kids are sleeping. Taking the phone away or requiring kids to put it in the nightstand by a certain hour can seriously help with this problem. The kids also might be watching shows or playing games that are stimulating their minds too much at a late hour.

8 - Late-Night Beverages

Kids might not be guzzling soda before they go to bed, but they might request juice or water in the later hours of the night. Parents should monitor how much kids are drinking when their bedtimes are getting close. Children who drink too much before they go to bed might find that they are constantly getting up to go to the bathroom when they should be asleep. Kids can struggle with sleeping for a variety of reasons, and parents should certainly schedule an appointment at the doctor to discuss any health concerns. However, these issues can give a clue as to what is going on at bedtime.

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented on are for general informational purposes only, the writer may not necessarily have medical or scientific training. This information is not reviewed by a physician. Some of these articles may contain information about treatments or the use of a pharmaceutical product that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment. Results on any service or treatment may vary from person-to-person.

This article should not be considered as medical advice. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional advice from a certified doctor or other qualified healthcare provider. Always speak with a doctor before starting, stopping, or changing any prescribed care or treatment plan. provides this reading material as a helpful resource, but it should never be a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical physician, a certified personal trainer, a therapist, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. If in a medical emergency, call a doctor or dial 911 immediately.