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By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We take our sleep for granted – that is unless we have difficulties getting to sleep. Insomnia and other sleep disorders are difficult for all of us, but especially for children.

Up to 50% of children will experience a sleep problem at one time or another. It is important that you as a parent don’t ignore sleep issues, although it is often tough because the children will come in and wake you up on many occasions.

But the reason why this is so crucial is that for children with difficulty sleeping, it can lead to daytime sleeping, irritability, learning difficulties and behavioral problems. In teens there is an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and poor academic performance.

Remember sleep is an opportunity for the body to conserve energy, restore its normal processes, promote physical growth and help with mental development.

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