Many problems in this age group stem from a child’s struggles between a need to develop independence and the need to be close to those they love. Common sleep disturbance in this age group include:
- Inability or unwillingness to fall sleep or stay asleep alone
- Bedtime fears, bedtime refusal
- Chronic and persistent night-time waking
- Sleep walking, sleep talking and nightmares
There are quite a few things that contribute to these sleep problems.
Poor sleep habits or poor sleep “hygiene”. This includes things like irregular bed and wake times or too much television before bed.
- Parent’s being inconsistent or unable to follow through on bedtime rules or routines or in the middle of the night.
- The child associates something which stops them from being able to get to sleep alone. Sometimes a parent will stay or sleep with a child until they fall asleep or the child will sleep in the parental bed.
Psychologists Dr Sarah Blunden and Brooke Michell specialise in helping children with sleeping problems, and their families, to achieve a good night’s sleep. Please see their website for further details about their services. www.sleepeducation.net.au
Sarah and Brooke are available for appointments at HealthSense Medical Centre on Tuesdays.