If you are wondering if your child’s sleep habits qualify as a “problem,” you might want to consider the following issues. Mark each statement A (agree) or D (disagree). If yours is a two-partner family, it is helpful if both partners mark the statements separately to see how each of you feels about the situation.
1.1 feel my child is not getting enough sleep. He is irritable during the day and shows subtle
signs of lack of sleep.
2. My child wakes too early or goes to sleep too late.
3. Sleep seems frightening to my child.
4. My child wakes during the middle of the night.
5. I wonder if my child is eating too much or too frequently.
6. Bedtime is unpleasant for my child. She goes to bed angry, sad, over-stimulated, or
7. I believe an undesirable pattern may be developing.
8. My child needs me at times that seem unreasonable to me. I fear he may be overly
dependent on me.
9. Bedtime is unpleasant. I dread it.
10. I usually feel deprived of sleep. I crave a night of undisturbed sleep.
11. I need to go to bed sooner than I would like in order to accommodate an early riser or a non-sleeper.
12. My fatigue or anger is affecting my relationship with my child, his siblings, or my partner.
13. The current situation feels out of control.
14. I find myself asking, “Is my child the only one acting like this?”
15. My child continually disturbs the rest of the family.
Some of these statements reflect the child’s behavior. Others reflect the family’s response. If you agreed with three or more, there is definitely a problem within the family system. This checklist is only a guideline. A child may show only one area of difficulty that turns the family upside down. Go back to the definition of a sleep problem. If you experience it as a problem, then it is a problem worth working on.