Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes problems falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up too early in the morning. Sleep is crucial to childhood development, and insomnia can lead to health problems or behavioral issues.
Insomnia can be short-term, lasting a few days or weeks, and may be related to medication, anxiety from a stressful event or illness. However, it can also be a long-term condition that will impact the child for their entire life.
Insomnia can be chronic (ongoing and occurs three times a week for a month or longer), cyclical (problems balancing wake-and-sleep cycles that can come and go throughout life) or transient (typically lasts less than three weeks).
While it is more common in adults, children can develop chronic insomnia, including 10% of adolescents (age 10 to 19).
There are two main types of insomnia:
The insomnia is not related to another condition. This is sometimes referred to as psychophysiological insomnia. It often involves poor sleep habits, going to bed and waking up at different times, and negative thoughts or anxiety about falling asleep.
The insomnia is a symptom of a larger problem and is caused by a medical condition or is related to behavioral health issues.
Within the types of insomnia, children will typically experience three patterns of insomnia that impact their nighttime sleep.
Insomnia can be caused by several factors, including: