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How to Fix Kids' Top 5 Sleep Problems

Tween boy hiding under bed coversGetting a good 10 hours of sleep a night can be difficult. Nearly half of all kids have trouble falling asleep or getting the 10 hours of sleep they need. If you have trouble sleeping, maybe it is scary nightmares that jolt you awake. Or you may have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Maybe it's your dad's loud snoring that keeps you up at night.

Whatever the reason for your restless nights, it's something you need to work on handling, pronto. If you don't sleep enough, you can't think clearly and focus in school. Plus, it can just make you feel lousy.

Check this list of kids' sleep problems to see if you share some of them. Then learn how to solve your problem and get better sleep!

1. Kids' Sleep Problem: Trouble Falling Asleep

The same stuff that stresses you out during the day can stick with you all night. Worrying about a school test or basketball game? Then your mind is too busy to let you go to sleep.

It's boring tossing and turning. But when you can't go to sleep, it can also make it hard to get up in the morning. You might get in trouble for not getting up quickly enough. Or you may be grumpy because you're sleepy. You might even have trouble staying awake at school. Each of those things can make you feel pretty rotten. If they all happen at once, it can make for a really bad day.

Solution: How to Get to Sleep

Try one (or all) of these tips to get the sleep you need to wake up rested.

Get on a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night. Turn off the TV or computer about 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Use that time to do something that relaxes you. Read or take a warm bath. Going to bed relaxed will help you fall asleep.

Create a good sleeping space. Make your bedroom comfortable and quiet to help you sleep. Wear comfy PJs. Close your bedroom door to block out noises.

Talk over your worries. If worries are keeping you wide awake every night, talk to your parents or another adult about what's bothering you. You might also keep a journal. Write down what's on your mind and what's bothering you. It can help you stop thinking about it. And it may help you think of what to do to feel better.

2. Kids' Sleep Problem: Nightmares

Scary dreams can snap you out of a deep sleep and get your heart racing. They may make you too afraid to close your eyes again.

Solution: How to Have Sweet Dreams

Everyone has nightmares. But are you having a lot of scary dreams? If so, think about what you are watching on TV or what games you're playing before bed. Stop watching scary movies and playing violent video games. Also, take time to calm down and relax before bedtime.

If the nightmares won't go away, ask your parents to help. You can find out what else might be causing them -- like stress at school.

WebMD Medical Reference