Sleeping Baby

Sleep Intervention

Sleep problems are common in children and can impact all aspects of a child's functioning. Some problems are a result of the interactions between behavior, environment, and psychosocial issues. A sleep disorder can create an irritable unhappy child at home with a wide range of effects on mental health, cognitive and social functioning. While some children with sleep problems do outgrow them as they grow, sleep related symptoms such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, and daytime sleepiness can be persistent and stressful. Sleep problems can even be more widespread in children with medical, developmental or mental health concerns. Inadequate sleep has been shown to be correlated with behavioral and attention difficulties in school and childhood obesity. 


In all children, sleep problems can be successfully diagnosed and treated through careful assessment and development of a personalized treatment plan. Our clinic focuses in finding the best solutions for your child’s sleep issues, by monitoring progress, and developing a treatment plan that works for you.  It is developmentally essential that children learn healthy sleep habits for healthy development. Our sleep intervention packages specializes in assessing and treating sleep problems in children with autism and related disorders, as well as typically-developing children over the age of 15 months. 

What is the recommended sleep for children?

A child’s sleeping habits and number of hours needed for sleep each night can vary depending on where the child is at in the stages of development. Some general pediatric sleep guidelines for amount of sleep needed for children by age range include the following:

  • 0 to 3 months of age need 14 to 17 hours of sleep

  • 4 to 12 months of age need 12 to 16 hours of sleep

  • 1 to 2 years of age need 11 to 14 hours of sleep

  • 3 to 5 years of age need 10 to 13 hours of sleep

  • 6 to 12 years of age need 9 to 12 hours of sleep

  • 13 to 18 years of age need 8 to 10 hours of sleep

  • 18 to 25 years of age need 7 to 9 hours of sleep

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

What are symptoms of a Behavioral Sleep Disorder?

  • Bedtime problems, including bedtime stalling or resistance

  • Difficulties falling asleep

  • Frequent or prolonged night wakings

  • Early morning wakings

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Separation difficulty

  • Bed wetting

  • Nightmares

  • Bedtime anxiety

  • Sleep dependencies​

What causes a Behavioral Sleep Disorder?

A child’s environment and caregivers can contribute to a behavioral sleep disorder. The temperament of your child may impact their likelihood to develop a sleep disorder, children who require more assistance; require more parental participation. Parents who set inappropriate and/or inconsistent sleep routines for their child can cause sleep disturbances. In school age children, a demanding schedule of social activities, sports, and increased academic workloads can cause disruptions in sleep routines, and delay sleep initiation.

What can be done to treat a Behavioral Sleep Disorder?

Untreated behavioral sleep disorders can have a significant impact on the cognitive, developmental, and emotional functioning of children. A complete assessment of sleep patterns, sleep disruptions, and psychosocial factors is recommended in treatment. Behavioral Interventions help children initiate and maintain sleep independently, increasing total sleep time and improving sleep quality. A child’s age and developmental stage will be taken into consideration when weighing different diagnosis and selecting an appropriate intervention.