Do kids grow out of insomnia?

young girl awake in bed at night, rubbing her eyes while looking at mobile phone screen

Insomnia might sound like an adult problem, but many kids experience insomnia symptoms, and new research suggests that most symptomatic children will continue to have trouble in their teen years or beyond. How do experts define insomnia? Who is at higher risk for developing symptoms? And what can we do to prevent lasting sleep problems? Here’s an overview of the evidence.

Poor sleep intensifies next-day stress for parents

tired mother working at laptop, eyes closed, rubbing head, with children in the background

Can a lack of sleep cause stress? Research confirms that we experience more stress the day after a poor night’s sleep. And the effects might be particularly noticeable for parents struggling to care for multiple children while holding down a job.

When do babies sleep through the night?

yawning mother holds baby in her arms

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Studies suggest that most babies begin to “sleep through the night” (at least 5-6 hours without parental intervention) by 3-6 months of age. But some infants take longer, and the road to progress can be bumpy. Even after babies experience their first, long episodes of nighttime sleep, … Continue reading

Bedtime problems in children: Solutions for the science-minded parent

preschool aged child photographed from chest down, in pajamas holding teddy bear

Bedtime problems are pretty common, especially among young children. But are these problems inevitable? No. Cross-cultural research — and clinical studies — indicate that we can quash most troubles by making a few, key changes. What should we do when our children fail to fall asleep at bedtime, or protest that they aren’t sleepy? Or … Continue reading

Bedtime fading: An evidence-based, step-by-step guide (with examples)

Parenting Science infographic depicting gradual shift of bedtime over several nights

© 2020 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved Bedtime fading is a gentle, “no cry” technique for re-aligning your child’s internal clock with the bedtime you desire. You start by asking your child to go to bed late — late enough that your child experiences a powerful physiological urge to sleep. Then, over multiple days, you … Continue reading

Baby sleep deprivation: How to tell if your baby isn’t sleeping enough

baby rubbing eyes with hands

Is there such a thing as “baby sleep deprivation” ? It’s clear that babies can cause sleep deprivation in others. But whether or not babies themselves suffer from sleeplessness is less clear. In my search for published studies about infants with insomnia, I’ve come up with almost nothing. Researchers acknowledge all sorts of infant sleep … Continue reading

How to reset your child’s internal clock for an earlier bedtime: A comprehensive, troubleshooting guide

child sleeping with an alaerm clock in the foreground

How can we help kids adapt to an earlier schedule? Morning sunlight, exercise, and other environmental cues can help reset a child’s internal clock. But to make sure kids feel physiologically drowsy at bedtime, we need to use additional strategies. Understanding the big picture: How circadian rhythms, daytime naps, and social factors impact your child’s … Continue reading