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Definition of Nocturnal Arousals Variation Parent text School age

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Parent Handouts and Info - Parent


Definition/criteria for Nocturnal Arousals Variation


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School Age (6-12)

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Nocturnal Arousals Variation

Nocturnal Arousals Variation

You said that your child sometimes wakes up during the night. It is common for an infant to wake up during the night. After 12 months of age it is somewhat less common. You said that your child does not wake up very often. It probably only happens when s/he is not feeling well. It is pretty common for children to wake up at night once in a while.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If your child spends more than 12 hours in bed, s/he may be awake for a long time during the night. Some children may get out of bed and play or watch TV. Sometimes, if your child is quiet or does not complain, you may not know that your child is getting up.
  • There are many things that may cause your child to wake up at night. These include things such as:
    • Problems with their sleep-wake schedule
    • A disease or medical problem
    • Feeling sick
    • Bad dreams
    • Stress

Warning signs that things are getting worse:

  • Your child's waking at night starts causing problems for him/her during the day (e.g. problems staying awake at school; very irritable or sleepy).
  • Your child's waking at night disturbs your sleep so much that you have a hard time getting through your day.

If you think these problems are getting worse talk to your child's doctor, even if you have discussed these things before.

Adapted in part from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Primary Care (DSM-PC) (1996).

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