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How to Fix Kids' Top 5 Sleep Problems

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.

3. Kids' Sleep Problem: Snoring

When you sleep, does your family tell you it sounds like there's a chainsaw coming from your room? You can't always know when you are snoring. It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, because you can't help it.

Kids snore for a lot of reasons, including a stuffy nose or big tonsils.

Sometimes, snoring is a sign of sleep apnea -- when someone stops breathing for a few seconds over and over again during the night. If you have sleep apnea, your brain has to wake you up each time to force you to breathe again. All that waking up makes you sleepy in the morning. You don't feel it if you stop breathing for a few seconds, so you can't tell by yourself if you have sleep apnea. Kids who are overweight are more likely to have this sleep problem.

Solution: How to Have Silent Nights

Tell your doctor if you snore most nights so you can get tested to find out why. All you have to do for the test is sleep. You will go to a hospital or special sleep clinic and stay in a room that's like a hotel room. You will have some wires painlessly connected to you to see whether you stop breathing and for how long.

If tests show you have sleep apnea, here are some things your doctor may suggest:

  • You may be able to use a machine to help you breathe at night. It doesn't hurt.
  • Your doctor may talk to you about healthy eating habits to help you grow into your weight.
  • You may need to have your tonsils and adenoids taken out.
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