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I can't sleep!

It's not just adults who lose sleep when they're stressed—many school-age kids have occasional bouts of insomnia. "It's totally normal," says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., author of Take Charge of Your Child's Sleep. "Preteens face real fears about new classes and relationships with friends."

If your child has trouble winding down at night:

Remove the clock from her bedroom, so she'll be less likely to fret (and lose sleep) over the minutes ticking by.

Set a relaxing bedtime routine—perhaps a shower, followed by an hour of unassigned reading. Try to build in at least a half hour of downtime before lights-out. "Consistency helps kids sleep well, and feels especially reassuring on nights like this," says Mindell.

Have your child write down her worries. Seeing them in print may make her fears less daunting and more controllable.

Turn off the television at least an hour before lights-out. Recent studies have shown that any TV before bed—even if the show isn't violent or scary—can keep kids up.

When it's midnight and she's freaking out, try playing a soothing book on tape or rubbing her back to relax her. And reassure her that she will, eventually, fall asleep, even if it feels impossible at that wide-awake moment.

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