Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Select An Article
Font Size

Sleep Disorders in Children

(continued)

Can Kids Get Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is not unusual in children 8 years of age and older. This neurological sleep disorder causes a creeping, crawling sensation in the legs (and sometimes in the arms) that creates an irresistible urge to move.

Studies show that restless legs syndrome may have a strong genetic component. Children with sleep tremors or restless legs syndrome may have difficulty falling asleep. That can result in daytime fatigue and irritability. According to recent studies, ADHD and depression may be more common in those diagnosed with RLS. Talk to your child's pediatrician about ways to treat RLS in children.

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

Sleep experts suggest that elementary-aged children should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Preschool-aged children should sleep about 11 to 13 hours a night.

How Can I Help my Child's Sleep Problems?

If your child is sleep walking, wetting the bed, or experiencing other sleep disturbances such as night terrors, talk with your child's doctor. Sometimes, emotional stress is the culprit. In most cases of emotional stress, the problem can be easily resolved with a few behavioral interventions.

In addition, watch your child as he sleeps to determine a pattern in his sleeping and possible snoring or sleep apnea. If your child suffers from allergies or asthma, make sure she is taking her medication properly. Again, your child's doctor is the best source for treatments for your child's sleep problems.

What Is a Sleep Study?

An overnight sleep study, or polysomnography, may be recommended for your child, especially if he has excessive daytime sleepiness, problems staying asleep, or OSA. The sleep study will help determine if your child has a diagnosable problem such as pure snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or another sleep problem. These disorders may require specific therapy that your child's doctor will prescribe.

1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on June 27, 2012
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections