Sleep disorders in the child

During childhood a series of disorders in children's sleep which makes it difficult for them to have a pleasant and suitable rest so that the next day the child-a is rested and can resume their activities.

When children do not have a good night's sleep, they usually show it with fatigue, bad humor, laziness when it is time to get up, crying for wanting to keep sleeping when they have to get up, in class they fall asleep, they do not perform in their activities, etc. These problems of sleep disturbances usually affect the child population.

Sometimes the lack of rest is due to the child's resistance to falling asleep early so it is necessary for parents to teach the children schedules or routines for bedtime and for the child to must go internalizing and accepting.

Types of sleep disorders

Among the disorders we have to differentiate between disomnias and parasomnias. Disomnias are alterations in the amount of sleep, such as insomnia, which is difficulty falling asleep or hypersomnia, which refers to the difficulty in staying awake. This disorder is associated with alterations of the central nervous system.

Parasomnias refer to alterations in the quality of sleep and occur while the child is sleeping. Among the parasomnias is sleepwalking, nightmares, night terrors, somniloquism, bruxism, jactatio nocturnal capitis.

The most common childhood sleep disorders

Childhood insomnia

It is a disorder associated with difficulty falling asleep or once asleep, the sleep is interrupted and accompanied by a phase in which the child is awake. When this happens it is difficult for the child to go back to sleep only without the help or company of their parents.

Among the causes that could be associated with insomnia may be poor sleep habits and changes or alterations in the baby's routine.


It is an alteration in the quality of sleep and is characterized by a series of behaviors and behaviors that manifest during sleep. The child sits on the bed, sometimes even gets up and walks around the house, at other times they dress and can even open windows or doors.

The child may not wake up in his wandering and go back to sleep or wake up and stay a few minutes disoriented. It is important not to wake him up, we gently take him by the hand and in a low voice we talk to him and we put him to bed again. When they wake up in the morning they do not usually remember anything of their wandering.

Children's nightmares

Nightmares are a disorder that can appear at any age but has its greatest appearance during the first 10 years of life. When it occurs continuously, it can cause a phobia in the child or fear of falling asleep. This disorder manifests itself with anxiety which causes the child to awaken in a brusque manner.

Night terrors

This disorder occurs when the child is already sleeping, usually appears in the first third of the night (phase III and IV of sleep). The child awakens sharply, sits on the bed, speaks and sometimes shouts loudly, makes quick gestures without coordinating, fixes the gaze. These behaviors are accompanied by other symptoms such as tachycardia, anxiety, sweating.

Both in a nightmare and in cases of night terrors parents should help the child to calm down, hug him and accompany him until he falls asleep again. When they wake up in the morning they do not usually remember what happened.


It consists of speaking or making sounds while the child is sleeping. Sometimes they do not understand what they say and in others they can be small conversations. When they wake up, they do not usually remember what they said.


Also known as "teeth grinding." They are forced contractions of the upper and lower jaw due to movements of the muscles of the jaw. This can cause tooth wear and alterations in the jaw. Although it appears during childhood as of the age of three there are occasions in which one reaches adulthood with bruxism. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician. ThemesDiseases in babies and children

Sleep Disorders in Children (April 2024)