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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it normal for a 15 year old to suffer from insomnia due to anxiety?

    My son suffers from anxiety and can not sleep at night properly?… if he hears a noise it will keep him up all night. is this normal for a 15 year old?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr David Cunnington

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Specialist sleep physician delivering a high standard of clinical care to clients with complex sleep problems and promoting sleep health through research, education and advocacy. … View Profile

    Being awake a lot at night is not normal at the age of 15. Usually it is a time in life when sleep is quite deep and there are few awakenings during sleep. 

    However, in people with anxiety, the effect on sleep can be to make people feel like they are closer to the surface and wake easily. 

    This type of problem with sleep generally responds well to cognitive behavioural therapy, a psychological treatment, directed towards both insomnia and anxiety. 

  • Dr Joanne Dennison

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    Dennison Psychology is a private psychology practice, with a location in South Yarra (Melbourne). Appointments are available on weekdays (appointments available from early mornings through … View Profile

    Anxiety is a normal and healthy reaction to stress, and is experienced by all ages. However, some individuals experience anxiety at problematic levels, whereby it impacts significantly on their ability to engage in everyday tasks on an ongoing basis.
    When someone is experiencing high levels of stress/anxiety it can interfere with their sleep (which can present as insomnia).
    Whilst some people (across ages) experience this, it can be detrimental; good sleep is necessary for healthy physical and psychological functioning. A psychologist can assist individuals of all ages to reduce the level of anxiety they experience, and thus reduce the problematic knock-on effects it can have.

  • Dr Amer Gilani

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am working as a GP for more than 15 years. I have worked in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Australia. I can speak English, Urdu, … View Profile

    It is very much normal for any age to develop insomnia due to Anxiety dut there are other causes fo Insomnia that should be ruled out. Some times even ENT problems may lead to obstructed breathing leading to Insomnia

  • Dianne Zebic

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Dianne Zebic has retired as of 31/01/2015 View Profile

    I think all the responses are good, and I would highly recommend you take your son either to see a counsellor or psychologist who could help to give you some answers as to why your son is waking up. Or even I would consider in seeking help from a ‘Sleep Doctor’, first to make sure there is no underlying medical problems, especially if this has been a problem for your son over a longer period of time.

    I will give you here a few examples as to why your son is maybe unable to sleep, however this is a guide only as he needs to properly assessed by a mental health professional or another allied health professional eg sleep doctor, your GP or paediatrician

    - School Bullying, can lead to anxiety
    - Worrying all the time about things in general
    - Watching horror or thriller movies and feeling scared in dark, this can make him use his imagination and cause him to feel anxiety
    - Feeling panicky and scared, especially in his room
    - If he drinks coke or energy drinks they could keep him awake as these drinks have caffeine
    - Domestic Violence at home, if there are any family upsets in the home this can make teenagers feel insecure 
    - Family Separation or Parental Divorce
    - If he feels unsafe 
    - If he struggles in making friends can cause anxiety
    - If you have moved house, teenagers can feel overwhelmed.
    - Somtimes kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD, can have sleeping problems and are up most of the night.

    However these were only a few examples, but I would urge you to get help for your son asap.

    In the meantime your son can contact the ‘Kidshelpline’, where they can give him some free telephone counselling. All the counsellors are fully qualified and services are available 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Their telephone number = 1800551800

    The link to the site is:

    I hope your son will be feeling better soon  :)

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