Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are some "don'ts" for getting my child or teen to sleep?

These "don'ts" are adapted from "Sleep Problems: Your Child" University of Michigan Health Care System.

  1. Don't put your child to bed with a bottle of juice, milk or formula. Sugar in such drinks promotes tooth decay. Water is acceptable.
  2. Don't fill up the bed with toys. Limit the crib/bed to one to two "special" items. Too many items are over stimulating and the child will have a hard time not playing with them. Eliminate any object that might be a safety hazard.
  3. Don't threaten to send your child to bed as a punishment. Bedtime should be an enjoyable experience that will promote falling asleep in a timely fashion.
  4. Avoid caffeine before bed: Caffeinated drinks such as cola, chocolate, iced tea, energy drinks, etc.
  5. Limit TV in the afternoon and at night. TV stimulation may carry on longer than you suspect. Having a TV in a child's room may be counterproductive to getting your child or teen to sleep. A 2014 National Sleep Foundation study indicates that 72% of children 6 years old to 17 years old have at least one electronic device in their bedroom. These children may get up to one hour less sleep per night as their peers without such devices in the bedroom.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


American Academy of Pediatrics. Teens Not Getting Enough Zzzz’s.

Medscape. Pediatric Sleep Disorders.

National Sleep Foundation.

UpToDate. Nonepileptic paroxysmal disorders in adolescents and adults.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/18/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your child's sleep disorder?
Sleep Disorder In Children And Teens - Symptoms Question: Does your child have a sleep disorder? What symptoms does he/she suffer?
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens - Tips Question: Please provide tips for helping your child get to sleep. Include your child's age.
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens - Behavior Question: Have you noticed behavioral changes in your child due to a lack of sleep? Please describe your experience.
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens - Sleepwalking Question: Has your child ever experienced sleepwalking? Please share your story.
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens - Night Terrors Question: Has your child ever had night terrors? What was it like and how did you handle the situation?
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teenagers - Experience Question: Please share your experience with sleep disorders in children or teens.