Sleep is one of our most basic needs and is especially important for children’s development. However, with our hectic schedules, sleep is one of the aspects of our day that is most likely to be neglected.

Although researchers still don’t know the exact brain mechanism that makes sleep so important, we do know that sleep is an integral component of many different brain and body systems. Deficits in sleep have been found to be associated with problem across a number of areas including:

  • Learning and memory
  • Academic achievement
  • Problem solving
  • Mood regulation
  • Attention
  • Behavioral regulation and self-management
  • Physical health and weight

girl sleepingClinically, chronic sleep disruption has been associated with exacerbations in mood disorders (e.g. bipolar disorder, depression), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and obesity.

As many as 85% of teens may not get sufficient sleep and by some estimate, upwards of 42% of younger children may experience some type of sleep disruption. Sleep problems can take many shapes and can consist of everything from not being able to initiate sleep to waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to resume sleep. By some estimates, 41% of kids with sleep disruption will continue to experience problematic sleep over time if the underlying sleep problems remain untreated.

Sleep problems can be treated in a number of ways depending on the underlying problem, which can range from nighttime anxiety to problems in the environment that make it difficult for your child to get enough sleep. Therapists at the Child Anxiety Center can help you to understand your child’s sleep problems and will use evidence based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches to treat the problem.