Child Sleep Problems

My child has a hard time getting to sleep at night. As a result, he is fatigued and having trouble concentrating in class. What can we do?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: We had a simple solution to this with our own children, and it’s what I recommend to my patients, as well: Eliminate the television from the bedroom. No computers or video games within two hours of bedtime. Set up a bedtime routine and stick to it. Realize that your child, at his age, requires this many hours of sleep. It is truly amazing as to how many parents think their preschool or school-aged children can get by on seven to eight hours of sleep. When in actuality, this leads to severe sleep deprivation and all of its consequences; such as poor academic performance, obesity, and symptoms commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD. Bedtime baths and bedtime stories were other routines that worked well for my children.

Robert S. Rosenberg, DO, a dad of 4 children who is board-certified in sleep medicine, internal medicine, and pulmonary medicine and is the medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff in Arizona.

Q&A by Wyatt Myers