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    Insomnia in my 9 year old son
    44kath44 posted:
    He can fall asleep fine. Usually at 10:00 p.m. Recently, even on weekends, he is waking up at 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m. not necessarily on the hour but just about. I walk him back into his room and rub his back until he falls asleep but he wakes back up again. He is not on any medication, we have stopped all caffeine. He is quite active throughout the day.

    Any help>
    Aatif M Husain, MD responded:
    Dear 44kath44,

    Insomnia in children is quite common. It can become very problematic for parents as this disturbs their sleep as well. Often the children do not seem too bothered by their insomnia. There can be many causes for this type of insomnia. Use of caffeine, refined sugars and heavy meals, particularly at night, can cause this problem. Another common reason for insomnia in kids is sleep association disorder. In this disorder children learn to fall asleep with a particular object or activity (such as rocking or patting). When they wake up periodically at night (as all of us do normally), they are unable to fall back asleep until they again have the same object or activity. Sleep apnea can also occur in children and can cause insomnia. These are only a few of the reasons a child can have sleep maintenance insomnia. I would suggest talking first with your pediatrician. Often it is a problem that they can easily address. If not, they may recommend further consultation depending on what they think is going on.

    I hope this helps in getting help for your child.


    Aatif Husain

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    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center