Parents may worry if their child is having a hard time falling asleep; however, it may be a problem that is fixed simply by adjusting bedtime. For instance, parents may set a bedtime that allows for 12 hours of sleep for a 7 to 8 eight year old child, who only needs 10 to 11 hours of nightly sleep. Pushing bedtime back by an hour may eliminate the child’s inability to fall asleep.
According to the
- Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
- Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
- School-age children: 10 to 11 hours
Older children often develop a problematic sleep pattern called delayed sleep phase disorder. By waking late on weekends relative to weekdays, they shift their body clocks late and then have trouble with sleep onset on Sunday to Thursday nights. They may lie in bed and worry about their ability to fall asleep, which compounds the problem for them. This latter difficulty is often termed psychophysiological insomnia and is a common cause of adulthood insomnia as well.
Insomnia symptoms include difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up too early or poor quality sleep.
Learn more about behavioral insomnia of childhood on SleepEducation.com.