Child Sleep Problems Linked to Headaches, Stomach Pain

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine and highlighted on U.S. News & World Report’s Health Blog shows that a child’s sleep problems aren’t just a headache for his or her parents … they’re also linked to headaches as well as stomach pain for the child.

Children who have trouble falling asleep or wake up often at night are much more likely to have headaches or to regurgitate food, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Headaches were twice as likely to occur in children with sleep problems; 24 percent of those kids reported pain, compared with 13 percent of children without disturbed sleep. And 19 percent of children with insomnia had problems with regurgitation, compared with 7.5 percent of children without sleep problems.

The problem now is that the study did NOT determined whether it’s the stomach aches and headaches that are causing the sleeplessness, or vice versa.  The researchers suggest that parents get the symptoms treated, and if that doesn’t bring improvement in the child’s sleep patterns, then a sleep study may be necessary.

More information on Sleep & Children, as well as other topics, can be found on SleepBetter.org’s Sleep Solutions page.

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