Children and adolescents with insomnia often struggle with falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Infants and younger children with insomnia may resist or refuse their normal bedtimes, may have difficulty falling asleep or need a parent’s help falling asleep or returning to sleep in the middle of the night.
Children with insomnia may have one or more symptoms at the same time. Symptoms include:
There can be multiple factors contributing to an individual patient’s insomnia. Contributing factors can include nighttime fears, anxiety about sleep, difficulty settling, racing thoughts or problematic sleep habits. In some cases, insomnia is the result of another behavioral or sleep disorder such as:
Effects of insomnia include:
Doctors at Riley at IU Health use the following tools to diagnose insomnia:
Because pediatric insomnia has many causes and effects that vary from child to child, the sleep medicine doctors at Riley at IU Health begin treatment with a detailed evaluation. In some cases when both medicines and behavioral treatments are needed to manage the insomnia, your child will attend a specialized insomnia clinic. Certain complex insomnia patients will be evaluated by a pediatric neurologist with sleep medicine training and a pediatric behavioral psychologist with sleep certification. Both specialists evaluate the child during the same visit for your convenience.
Once this evaluation is complete, the sleep medicine doctors will work with your child's primary care doctor to develop an individualized treatment plan. Your child's treatment plan may include:
Our doctors are specially trained in sleep disorders and have additional training in pediatric pulmonology, pediatric neurology or child psychology. Our care team also includes dedicated nurse coordinators, respiratory therapists and certified sleep educators.
Learn more about insomnia, its effects and treatments.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
The National Sleep Foundation provides in-depth information about insomnia on its website.
A service of the National Sleep Foundation, this website for parents and teachers provides information such as how much sleep children need and how to encourage them to follow a schedule.