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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Many children are reluctant to go to bed, or they have problems once they're in bed. Some of these can include difficulty falling asleep, awakening during the night, talking during sleep, nightmares, or bed-wetting. To help minimize problems, you can develop consistent and regular sleep routines for your child. Sleep problems may also be symptoms of emotional difficulties. For most young children, bedtime is a time of separation, and some will do all they can to prevent separation. Children may also have nightmares, which can begin at a variety of ages. Most children who have nightmares need to be held and reassured, and it's a good idea not to read scary stories or show scary videos prior to bedtime. Soothing music, and even gentle massage, may help. Nightmares can also be caused if the child is under a lot of stress or is sick. Physical and-or sexual abuse in early childhood can lead to sleep disruption in children that may often continue throughout their lifetimes. If your child is exhibiting sleep disorders several times a night, or for weeks at a time, or the child's sleep problems are interfering with daytime activities, you may need to take the child to a healthcare professional for counseling or for an exam to rule out any physical problems.

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