The Ferber method as a solution to childhood insomnia

Sleeping is the prize that everyone seeks after a long day of work. In the case of the smallest of the house is also a very important element in its development. However, sometimes, the insomnia makes an appearance of presence and deprives children of this reward.

Fighting against this childhood insomnia will help children to comply with sleep schedules recommended by pediatricians. Among all the techniques that exist to help children to rest is the Ferber method. A behavioral therapy based on the extinction of habits and that has been shown to be effective in eliminating insomnia.

Leave bad habits

As has already been said, the Ferber method consists of an extinction strategy, which consists of leaving children in bed and ignore them until the next morning. Some argue that this system has a high effectiveness, but the great obstacle that presents is the difficulty of parents to leave their children with their crying, screaming, etc., throughout the night.


You can also resort to the gradual extinction, which is to enter the room at periodic intervals increasingly longer. The purpose of these techniques is to change sleep routines. That is, all those rules that adults teach a child to correctly configure the habit of sleeping.

In order to create a dream routine, it is necessary to achieve the association of the same external elements and the attitude that parents transmit when teaching the habit. By insisting on the same type of activity, without changes, the parents transmit their safety, making the child understand how the behavior that is being shown is correct.


The Spanish Society of Out-of-Home Pediatrics and Primary Care, SEPEAP, refer to the meta-analysis conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a meta-analysis where 52 studies were selected, the results of which showed that the most effective treatments for insomnia are extinction (and gradual extinction), along with the pre-sleep routines.

Causes of insomnia

Another of the insomnia treatment techniques is to find the cause of it. From the Dream Institute the following are given:

- Allergies. Affected children sleep in a fragmented and interrupted manner.

- Pain. Otitis and colic are very frequent in children. Any condition that causes pain, discomfort or night fever will interrupt the night's sleep. If the picture becomes chronic, over time it has usually been conditioned by poor sleep habits in the child, which may persist despite the disappearance of pain, probably due to imbalances in the rhythm of sleep and the acquisition of bad habits.


- Enuresis. From the Sleep Institute they point out that enuresis is the most stressful of sleep disorders for the child, since it is not only a source of loss of sleep, but also of shame. It is considered that this problem appears when at five years of age there is still no control over the sphincter of the bladder.

- Chronic diseases. Any chronic disease is likely to cause persistent sleep disturbances. Disorders such as headaches, asthma, diabetes mellitus, gastroesophageal reflux or epileptic seizures can alter the sleep of the sufferer.

- Medicines. Relatively innocuous medicines that are prescribed to treat acute or chronic diseases can disturb sleep (eg antibiotics, bronchodilators, etc.).

Damián Montero

Video: 01 The SleepEasy Solution


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