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Trouble going to sleep or awakening during the night:

This sign is usually not particularly important unless it goes on for a while. Your children normally go to sleep in about fifteen minutes to an hour. The average is approximately twenty minutes or so. Some youngsters go to sleep quickly and others take longer to settle and fall asleep. It is only a problem if it takes a lot longer than is typical for your child. If this happens several nights in a row or if your youngster cannot fall asleep for three or four hours some night, there might be a problem. Excitement, not feeling tired, and thinking about day-to-day things can keep your children awake as they can adults. Be sure not to make too much of it unless your child’s sleeping problem is severe or persistent. Still, be open to the possibility of too much stress.

Waking up during the night once in a while is not a problem either. Everyone does this sometimes. Usually, it is from dreaming or from needing to go to the bathroom. Not going back to sleep fairly quickly is more of a problem. If your youngster often wakes up but cannot go back to sleep easily, stress is the likely cause.

If your school-age child’s sleeping does not improve in two weeks, arrange for a medical evaluation. This may lead to the physician’s recommending counseling. For your younger children, a week is long enough to justify concern. When your child is taking his stress to bed with him, he needs some extra help.

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