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How to Fix Kids' Top 5 Sleep Problems

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.

4. Kids’ Sleep Problem: Bed-wetting

Bed-wetting can be embarrassing. But if you wet the bed, know that you're not alone. Millions of kids also deal with bed-wetting.

Solution: Wake Up With Dry Sheets

Sometimes you can end bed-wetting by making a few simple changes.

  • Don't drink anything a couple of hours before bedtime.
  • Use the bathroom right before you get into bed.
  • Talk with your parents about getting a special alarm to wake you up right before you usually have an accident.  

If those tips don't work, tell your parents so you can talk to your doctor about bed-wetting. You don't need to feel embarrassed, because your doctor sees lots of kids with the same issue. In fact, talking it over with someone may help you relax and feel better.

5. Kids' Sleep Problem: Sleepwalking

Some mornings, does your mom tell you she found you wandering through the house in the middle of the night? You don't remember getting out of bed, but you've been sleepwalking. 

Solution: How to Stay in Bed

Most kids outgrow sleepwalking as they get older. For now, have a safe path if you do wander out of bed. Ask your parents if you can sleep on the first floor instead of upstairs. Make sure all the doors and windows are locked so you can't sneak out. And work with your parents to talk to your doctor about what's going on.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on December 22, 2013