What Causes Insomnia in Children?

What Causes Insomnia in Children?

If your child is suffering from insomnia and you aren’t sure what to do, come to us. Call our team of professionals today at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.

What Causes Insomnia in Children? - Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI
What Causes Insomnia in Children? - Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI

Table of Contents:

What are the symptoms of insomnia in children?
What causes insomnia in children?
How do you help a child with insomnia?
When should I take my child to the doctor for insomnia?
How do I know if my child has sleep problems?

Insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, is often a symptom of a physical or mental health condition and can happen to anyone, at any age. Some of the most common causes of insomnia in children and teens include anxiety, depression, stress, and thinking about being separated from a caregiver or a special person (such as a friend, family member, or pet). Children’s insomnia is common. It usually builds up gradually, starting with things like tiredness and difficulty sleeping, before developing into a more serious condition.

What are the symptoms of insomnia in children?


Symptoms of insomnia in children may include:

– Bedtime refusal and struggles going to bed
– Frequent requests after lights out
– Difficulty falling asleep once in bed
– Frequent or prolonged night awakenings
– Difficulty returning to sleep independently
– Waking earlier than desired
– Resistance to an appropriate sleep schedule
– Difficulty napping
– Trouble waking in the morning

Daytime symptoms may include:

– Fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness
– Attention, concentration, or memory impairments
– Problems with social, family, or academic performance
– Mood disturbances or irritability
– Behavioral problems (hyperactivity, aggression, oppositional behavior)
– Reduced motivation
– Poor decision-making and impulse control
– Low tolerance for frustration

What causes insomnia in children?


Many times insomnia is a symptom that is caused by something else, such as a physical or mental health problem; possible causes of insomnia can include:

– Another sleep disorder (such as sleep apnea)
– Anxiety or stress
– Medical, mental health, or developmental condition
– Certain medications, such as steroids or antidepressants 
– Caffeine, found in many types of drinks

How do you help a child with insomnia?


Establishing good lifestyle habits can help ensure a restful night for people of any age, and it is especially important for children and teens. Parents can implement a number of things to help improve their child’s sleep quality, including:

– Beds should only be used for sleep
– Ensure their bedroom is comfortable
– Stick to the same sleep schedule
– Make sure they are not too hungry or too full before bed
– Encourage an active lifestyle
– Encourage natural light exposure in the morning
– Pay attention to napping
– Set limits with electronics
– Spend quality time together

When should I take my child to the doctor for insomnia?


There are many signs and symptoms that indicate when a child should see a doctor for insomnia; these include:

– Excessive daytime sleepiness
– Emotional outbursts
– Sleep problems last longer than a week
– Lack of sleep affects the quality of life
– Attention span is shortened
– Difficulty performing everyday tasks

If your child is exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative to take them to a sleep doctor as soon as possible; delaying care can lead to an exacerbation of symptoms and run the risk of the development of serious health complications.

How do I know if my child has sleep problems?


A lack of sleep may cause:

– Accidents and injuries
– Behavior problems
– Impulsive behavior
– Mood problems
– Memory, concentration, and learning problems
– Performance problems
– Slower reaction times
– Overeating

Signs of sleep problems in children include:

– Snoring
– Breathing pauses during sleep
– Trouble falling asleep
– Problems with sleeping through the night
– Trouble staying awake during the day
– Unexplained decrease in daytime performance
– Unusual events during sleep such as sleepwalking
– Teeth grinding
– Bedwetting
– Restless sleep
– Trouble waking up in the morning

If your child is not getting enough sleep and it is affecting how they feel throughout the day, come to Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders and speak with our dedicated sleep team. We serve patients from all across the United States.

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