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Over 40% of Kids With Insomnia Carry It Into Adulthood!

written by / March 18, 2022
Kids With Insomnia

Parents likely won’t like the results of the newest sleep study published in the journal Pediatrics. According to it, children with difficulty sleeping have a higher chance of carrying insomnia into adulthood. 

More precisely, children of an average age of nine that sleep only seven hours or less per night have a 2.5 times higher risk of developing sleeplessness as young adults than those who sleep normally. 

Also, teenage insomnia patients of an average age of 16 are 5.5 times more likely to keep having disordered sleeping, at least well into their twenties.   

These discouraging results were obtained through long-term research conducted by researchers from Penn State Health and the Penn State University College of Medicine, aiming to analyze insomnia symptoms trajectories and their evolution into adult insomnia.

For this purpose, 502 children were observed three times during their development — from a median age of 9 years, through a median age of 16 years, and finally, at the median age of 24. 

They were subjected to polysomnography testing that included blood oxygen levels, movement, heart rhythm, and brain wave analysis from “lights out” (9–11 p.m.) to “lights on” (6–8 a.m.).

The results were surprising, even for the scientists. 

They showed that most of the respondents who had insomnia in childhood (43.3%) continued having disordered sleeping later on in life. As many as 11.2% were in remission since adolescence, and 18.6% experienced an ebb-and-flow pattern.

This is why experts urge parents to take measures to help their children regulate their sleep and not to expect that the problem will go away on its own once they have grown. 

Identifying and addressing is an excellent way to fight childhood insomnia, and the underlying causes vary, ranging from asthma to autism. 

Alternatively, employing insomnia-fighting methods like better sleep hygiene, behavioral therapy (CBT), or taking natural safe-to-use sleep aids (e.g., a quality melatonin supplement, calming teas, and essential oils) might also help. 

Whatever you choose to do as a parent, keep in mind the health and mental consequences at stake if you postpone your action. 

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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