Symptoms and Signs of Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children

Sleep disorders in children are common. The most common types of sleep problems in children are described as dyssomnias, which are disorders that can be characterized by a disturbance in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep such as bedtime resistance, delayed sleep onset (difficulty falling asleep), night waking, and excessive daytime sleepiness. These problems are often temporary and go away on their own. Sleep disorders that may require medical intervention include insomnia (difficulty staying asleep), sleep apnea (a cessation of breathing during sleep), sleep-related movement disorders (such as restless leg syndrome), and parasomnias (such as nightmares and sleepwalking).

Symptoms of sleep disorders in children may include snoring, breathing pauses during sleep, problems with sleeping through the night, difficulty staying awake during the day, unexplained decrease in daytime performance, unusual events during sleep, teeth grinding, bedwetting, restless sleep, and difficulty waking up in the morning.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.