This sign is usually not particularly important
unless it goes on for a while. Your children normally go to sleep in about
fifteen minutes to an hour. The average is approximately twenty minutes or so.
Some youngsters go to sleep quickly and others take longer to settle and fall
asleep. It is only a problem if it takes a lot longer than is typical for your
child. If this happens several nights in a row or if your youngster cannot fall
asleep for three or four hours some night, there might be a problem.
Excitement, not feeling tired, and thinking about day-to-day things can keep
your children awake as they can adults. Be sure not to make too much of it
unless your child’s sleeping problem is severe or persistent. Still, be open to
the possibility of too much stress.
Waking up during the night once in a while is
not a problem either. Everyone does this sometimes. Usually, it is from dreaming
or from needing to go to the bathroom. Not going back to sleep fairly quickly
is more of a problem. If your youngster often wakes up but cannot go back to
sleep easily, stress is the likely cause.
If your school-age child’s sleeping does not
improve in two weeks, arrange for a medical evaluation. This may lead to the
physician’s recommending counseling. For your younger children, a week is long
enough to justify concern. When your child is taking his stress to bed with
him, he needs some extra help.