Free Online Help for Children's Sleep Problems

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"So much of it is about creating regularity. Many kids thrive on consistency and predictability," said Philip Gehrman, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The study only followed mothers for two weeks after they used the online tool, so it's not yet known whether parents will continue to comply with the recommendations.

"When your kids wake up in the middle of the night, all you want to do is go back to bed," said Gehrman. "It can be hard to stick with these things long term because you're having to do these at a time when maybe you're not at your peak thinking ability."

"Within the first two weeks when they're really motivated, they will do all these things," said Leu. "But whenever there's any kind of stressor on a child, such as teething or an illness, there's always the potential that things can revert back."

Sleep specialists would like to see new tools developed for other age groups. They believe they can teach parents a lot about what's really going on with their child's sleep.

Said Mindell: "A lot of times, parents talk to their family and friends about sleep problems, and the family and friends may say the child will grow out of whatever it is and parents just tolerate the problem. They don't realize they can make some changes."

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