Are you living on your nerves? Do your kids suffer at school by falling asleep or just being too tired to concentrate on what their teacher is saying?
Does the research carried out by the University of Warwick's Medical School , which says sleep deprivation is "associated with an almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese", scare you?
If so, you're not alone.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists provides a leaflet that says school age children should be getting about 10 to 11 hours sleep a night.
Let's look at sleep problems, with five top tips on what we can do to help them get some shut eye.
1. Research medical reasons for not sleeping
Rule out any medical reason for not sleeping, like growing pains or narcolepsy.
Having a seven year old that always seemed to be tired, I just couldn't get to the bottom of it. I followed all the recommended sleeping tips for kids, but he struggled to get to sleep and then also slept badly, despite being in bed for the required 10 hours a night. He also often choked on food and I rarely allowed him out of my sight.
GPs kept sending us home. It took years to be referred to ear, nose and throat specialists at the local hospital. In hindsight, I wish I had demanded an appointment when he was younger. When we did get to hospital, he was immediately referred for a tonsillectomy and to get his adenoids out. He had very large tonsils which are often known as "kissing tonsils". The huge adenoids explained why he choked on food. He also had sleep apnoea, which meant he kept waking himself up by snoring.
2. Monitor food and drink
We can kid ourselves all we like, but if we feed our kids high sugar, caffeine and preservative-laden food late in the day, they are going to struggle to get to sleep. I see parents giving their kids the high energy drinks intended for adults, and then complain that their kids can't get to sleep. I often use milk last thing at night to help tip my boys over the edge into sleepiness.
3. Deal with bedtime worries
Nightmares are common in the five to ten year old age bracket. At this age, children are beginning to get a wider sense of the world and worries can play on little minds. Watching inappropriate movies and TV programmes can also lead to worrying nightmares that our kids just cannot deal with.
Problems at school or at home could also lead to sleeplessness. It is also possible for this age group to have separation anxiety, where they cannot get to sleep unless a parent or caregiver is beside them.
Being over-tired can also make kids slightly hyperactive, and paradoxically, keep them awake when they should be in the land of nod.
4. Get a routine
If our kids go to bed at different times every night, their bodies struggle to distinguish night from day. Their bodies might find it difficult to produce the natural sleep hormone "melatonin" at the right time of day to help them wind down to sleep.
Just because children are not sleepy, it doesn't mean that we should just let them do what they want. We need to give our kids the skills to help them sleep more easily. Set a bedtime and stick to it. We do showers, a snack and then up to bed to read or watch TV for half an hour.
5. Don't stress about it
Some of us have children that don't sleep. We could get annoyed and shout, and then our kids might get hyper and shout back. Before we know it, there could be tears, tantrums and feet stamping. And that's just the adults. If we stress, our kids will stress more, and that will help to keep them awake.
Keep calm, build in a routine, and accept that some kids don't sleep much. We can give them strategies they can use in the future, but we can't force them to close their eyes and drift off. A friend of mine is happy if her kids go to their rooms at 9pm and either read or play games quietly until they drift off. I'd be happy with that too.