Waking up problems may also be caused by bad dreams. Your toddler waking up may be caused by a developing imagination. Not being able to control the carry over into one's sleeping world, your toddler may wake up from a nightmare. A few moments soothing your toddler should work in this instance. Other common causes of waking up problems include illness, separation anxiety (maybe staying overnight at a babysitter's, grandparent's or other location away from home) or a looming developmental change. In those cases, there are a couple of things to try. Make sure, first of all, that your toddler is getting enough night time sleep. The less sleep your child gets, the more likely he is to have trouble settling down at bedtime and staying asleep through the night. Being consistent about bed time and even naps during the day will help this problem. Aside from treating any contributing illness, waking up problems are usually best resolved over time.
As in adults, snoring in toddlers is a common and no cause for alarm reason that your child might not be able to stay asleep. If your child is snoring or snorting more frequently during sleep and it is causing waking up problems, it may be a sign of sleep apnea. This is a serious sleep disorder that's sometime caused by an enlarged gland in the throat just behind the nose, or tonsils that repeatedly block the upper airway passages during the night, making it difficult for your toddler to breathe properly. Many toddlers who have sleep apnea tend to be sleepy during the day when they should be awake and are more likely to be irritable and have more behavior issues. If you truly feel your child needs to be evaluated for a sleep apnea disorder, contact your pediatrician. He or she may order a sleep study to be done in the hospital at night. They may also refer you to an ear nose and throat specialist.
Many children have difficulty in not only falling asleep, but difficulty in STAYING asleep. This may signal a sleeping disorder. A true sleep disorder, as defined for a toddler, is a more serious sleep problem rooted in a physiological condition. If you think your child might qualify, check with your pediatrician.
Sleepwalking is another problem that may affect your toddler's ability to sleep through the night. Experts don't know exactly what causes sleepwalking, although it does appear to run in families. Sleepwalking can start any time after your toddler begins walking and at least 15% of all children will have an episode at some point. It usually occurs within an hour or two of falling asleep, when your child is in the deepest part of non-dreaming sleep. Sleeping in a strange place, lack of sleep or a high fever can trigger a sleepwalking episode. Whatever the cause, it is important to keep your toddler safe. Don't try to wake a sleepwalker, just gently ease them back toward their bed. Your toddler will have no memory of the incident and talking about it may make your toddler afraid of going to bed.
Whether your toddler's waking up problems are rooted in poor sleep habits or a health problem, you can begin to reverse most issues by establishing a regular bedtime as well as a consistent bedtime routine. Work on establishing these things along with a consistent nap schedule so your toddler is getting plenty of daytime sleep as well. This is a very important component of sleeping well at night, since sleep deprivation contributes to waking up problems.