If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.
A 2021 study examined sleep-wake problems at age 9 years. Sleep-wake problems occurred in some children who answered affirmatively that they frequently “had an extremely hard time falling asleep”, “fallen asleep in a morning class”, “slept in past noon”, and/or ‘stayed up all night”. These children were more likely have high levels of externalizing behavior problems (rule-breaking and aggressive behaviors), depressive symptoms, and anxiety at age 18 years.
“Youth who reported higher sleep-wake problems during late childhood also reported higher levels of externalizing behaviors, depressive symptoms, and anxiety in late adolescence. These results corroborate other studies which also found that early sleep problems forecast later mental health problems [3 studies cited]”.
If your child is not sleeping well, then, over time, the sleeping problems will cause more mental health and psychosocial harm.
• Children, 2-6 years of age, with less sleep are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems over the next 15 months (Blog Post 75).
• Children, 9 years of age, with sleep problems are more likely to develop externalizing behavior problems, depressive symptoms, and anxiety at 18 years of age.
Be Optimistic (it is never too late to help your child sleep better) – Blog Post 66