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Sleep Disorders

Bedtime trouble

10/28/2008

Question:

My 11 year old son has trouble falling to sleep. He says he feels like he needs to urinate and gets up every few minutes. He also feels like he needs to say, "good night, see you in the morning" over and over, and needs us to respond to him. A few weeks ago he told me he worried a bad guy would come in our house and steal him. He is 5`4" and weighs 124 lbs. I tried to explain all of the logical resons why no one would steal him. How can we help him with his fear? I think these behaviours are related to his fear. He doesn`t exhibit these types of behaviours during the day, just at bed time.

Answer:

It is reassuring that your son doesn’t exhibit anxiety behaviors during the daytime. This kind of night time anxiety can be related to many different things. I would suggest that you discuss this with your son’s pediatrician or family physician and let them evaluate him further.

Referral to a psychologist might be helpful for insightful counseling and strategies to cope with anxiety. Evaluation by a pediatric sleep specialist may be of some help if the problems persist.

For more information:

Go to the Sleep Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Splaingard, MD Mark Splaingard, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University