The National Sleep Foundation conducts an annual nationwide sampling to evaluate sleep behavior and trends. Fully 45% of Americans report that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily activities at least once a week. Women are more likely to report insomnia issues and for men, snoring issues.
Similarly, behavioral sleep problems are common in children. It's estimated that between 25% to 40% of children have sleep problems during their development.
Disrupted sleep is a common symptom shared with both mood and anxiety disorders. Therefore these issues should be addressed in an assessment of sleep onset or sleep maintenance issues. Also co-occurring physiological problems (for example, obstructive sleep apnea or periodic limb movements) should be evaluated.
Common sleep problems for preschoolers may focus on children who have not learned to fall asleep independently (in part because they’re unable to return to sleep after typical night time arousals).
With older children, the issue may be difficulty falling asleep at bedtime due to a prolonged bedtime routine or anxieties about the dark. Older children and adolescents may have disrupted or delayed sleep-wake phase issues. Also insomnia as a primary complaint is more common in this age range.
Strategies that focus on both cognitive and behavioral components are among the most effective treatment approaches.