Teenagers need 8 and 1/2 to 9 and 1/4 hours of sleep each night to feel good and perform well at school.
Archives for posts tagged ‘poor sleep’
Monday, 27 February 2012
Monday, 13 February 2012
If you find yourself tossing and turning most nights, unable to fall asleep, you’re in good company.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I explain to parents how there are three keys to prevent or treat overweight or obesity in children and teens: (1) better nutrition, (2) physical exercise, and (here’s the surprise!) better sleep!
Thursday, 28 July 2011
Researchers are reporting that violent content on the TV or computer during the day disrupts sleep for preschool children. And it’s worse for any TV or computer time in the evening regardless of content, according to Michelle Garrison, PhD, and colleagues at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Seattle.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies are stirring up lots of controversy. Why?
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
You’re lying in a hammock on a warm afternoon. You rock softly back and forth. In no time you’re … snoring. This is no real surprise—after all, we’ve all rocked our babies asleep. But researchers wanted to know how rocking works.
Sunday, 10 July 2011
In a number of past blogs I’ve discussed the association with lack of sleep and overweight and obesity. This association is found in children, teens, and adults. Now we know another reason why this occurs.
Friday, 15 April 2011
HealthDay reported that “many Americans might be losing valuable shut-eye because they spend the hour before bedtime in front of the electronic glow of a television, cell phone, or computer,” according to the National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep in America poll results released earlier this year.
Monday, 11 April 2011
The following ten tips, provided by the National Sleep Foundation, can help you achieve sleep and the benefits it provides. These tips are intended for “typical” adults, but not necessarily for children or persons experiencing medical problems.
Monday, 11 April 2011
As I’ve discussed in previous blogs (see list below), most people (whether children, teens, or adults) are simply not getting enough sleep. And now a couple of studies are providing more stark proof of what we’re doing to ourselves. The Centers for Disease Control is putting new numbers on this problem.
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
In a past blog, Natural Medications (Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements) for Menopausal Symptoms, I discussed the data supporting a trial of isoflavones in women with menopausal symptoms. However, there was not a lot of data. Now, Medscape is reporting, “Isoflavones may reduce insomnia symptoms” in postmenopausal women, according to a small study in the journal Menopause.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
A combination of melatonin, zinc, and magnesium has been shown to be safe and effective in treating insomnia in older men and women, but the results are preliminary.
Monday, 15 November 2010
Tired of counting sheep? Consider one of these remedies for the possibility of getting a good night’s sleep when you have occasional insomnia. These tips were posted on Health.com and are from RealSimple.com:
Try it: When you’re drowsy but slightly tense.
How to use it: Massage a dab of aromatherapeutic balm or oil into the back of your neck and shoulders (and inhale deeply) before you hit the sack. Certain fragrances, including lavender and lemon balm, promote snooze-inducing relaxation, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a sleep specialist at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. (Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Balm, which contains lavender; $25, origins.com.)
Good to know: You don’t have to stick to traditional aromatherapeutic scents — any fragrance that makes you feel good can be calming, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neurology and the director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern University, in Chicago.
2) Valerian tea
Try it: If you are getting a full night’s sleep but still feel tired in the a.m.
How to use it: Sip a brew made from the flowering plant an hour or so before bedtime. (Try the Republic of Tea Get Some Zzz’s; $10.50 for 36 bags, republicoftea.com.) Some studies have shown that valerian can help increase sleep quality (it’s packed with antioxidants, too). You may have to drink it for several nights in a row before it works, says Naiman.
Good to know: Valerian shouldn’t be taken for more than two weeks at a time, since prolonged use can lead to dependency. And it can interfere with some prescription medications, including cholesterol drugs, so check with your doctor before steeping.
3) GABA-enhanced drink
Try it: When your head is racing with worries.
How to use it: Down a shot of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) right before bed. (Try Arizona P.M. Relax FastShot; $3, drinkarizona.com for stores.) “GABA, an amino acid found in your body, has been shown to quiet the mind when taken orally,” says Naiman.
Good to know: Certain foods, including brown rice, bananas, and mackerel, contain GABA. Consuming them during the day may help you sleep better at night.
4) Melatonin supplement
Try it: If you don’t feel tired until way past bedtime.
How to use it: Take a three-milligram tablet 15 to 20 minutes before bed. (Try GNC Melatonin 3; $5 for 60 tablets, gnc.com.) Your brain makes this neurohormone naturally to “tell the body that it’s time for sleep,” says Naiman. “But many people have suppressed melatonin production because they’re overexposed to light in the evening.” Naiman has been using it nightly for 20 years.
Good to know: Consult with your doctor before taking melatonin. It is not recommended for pregnant women, women trying to conceive, children, and adolescent boys (it can affect testosterone levels in maturing males).
5) Over-the-counter sleeping pill
Try it: When you’re going through a short period of sleeplessness, like during a stressful time at work.
How to use it: At bedtime, take two tablets that contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that makes you feel sleepy (research shows that an excess of histamine in the body may cause insomnia). “The less often you take these pills, the better,” says Dr. Lisa Shives, M.D., a sleep specialist in Evanston, Illinois. “You can build up a tolerance, and then they won’t work as well.” (Try Unisom SleepGels; $10 for 32 gel tabs, at drugstores.) Note: Never mix alcohol and sleeping pills.
Good to know: “The older you are, the slower you metabolize this type of drug,” says Shives. That means you may experience lingering sleepiness in the morning.
6) Prescription medication
Try it: When insomnia becomes a chronic problem.
How to use it: Work with your doctor to figure out which medication is best for you. Shives’s favorite is Rozerem (rozerem.com). It acts on the melatonin receptors in the brain that help you fall and stay asleep (other aids act only as a sedative). However, only Lunesta (eszopiclone) and Silenor (doxepin) are approved by the FDA for long-term use. Take a tablet about 30 minutes before bed.
Good to know: Finding the right medication may require trial and error: Some can make you more wired and awake. Side effects are common, says Shives, and range from the annoying (headaches, grogginess) to the serious, like unconscious nighttime binge eating and driving. Pregnant women may want to avoid these aids, even though they have not been proven to be dangerous.
Insomnia is considered chronic when it lasts most nights for a few weeks or more. This longer-term condition deserves professional attention, says Tom Roth, Ph.D., head of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. If you’re unsure about whether you have chronic insomnia, Roth suggests looking at it like a headache. “If it goes on day after day and nothing you do makes it go away, then you should see a doctor,” he says. “Ask yourself: Do you know the cause?”
Saturday, 6 November 2010
When you turn your clocks back an hour tonight, it might be a good opportunity to think about whether you’re getting enough sleep. The switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time officially occurs at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and it moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning. You’ll likely appreciate the extra hour of sleep you’ll gain with the return to Standard Time, but it won’t be enough to eliminate any major sleep debt you may have accumulated due to a hectic lifestyle, experts say. Here are the details from HealthDay News:
Chronic sleep deprivation can affect attention levels, reaction time and mood, leading to decreased productivity at work, increased family stress, and potential health problems, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
“People tend to ignore the need for sleep in order to get other things done, but sleep is as important as what you eat, how much you exercise, and other healthy lifestyle practices,” Dr. Nancy A. Collop, director of the Emory Sleep Center and president-elect of the AASM, said in an academy news release. “It’s important to acknowledge the role that sleep plays in our daily lives, and recognize that how we feel, think and perform is all dictated by the amount of sleep we get.”
The amount of sleep needed for good health and optimum daytime performance varies by age: preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours a night; school-age children should get 10 to 11 hours; teens must have at least nine hours; and adults should get seven to eight hours each night.
The AASM offers these tips for a good night’s sleep:
- Don’t exercise or have caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or heavy meals close to bedtime.
- It’s fine to eat a small snack before bedtime to avoid going to sleep hungry.
- Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.
- Don’t sleep in on the weekends. That just makes it harder to wake up on Monday.
For More information, the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about sleep here.
Friday, 2 July 2010
Here’s some excellent information on avoiding insomnia and getting a good night’s sleep using common-sense sleep hygiene. It’s from my friends at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. However, I find that many of my patients are not aware of some (or even most) of this information. So, here’s to a good night’s sleep for each of you.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common complaint. Some symptoms of insomnia are difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and difficulty with early morning awakening.
Sometimes insomnia only lasts for a short time and can be easily managed. Persistent insomnia is more troublesome and can affect work, school, social relationships, and health.
Many conditions are associated with insomnia such as depression, anxiety, allergies, and pain. Much of the time insomnia is simply the result of poor sleep habits.
How Is Insomnia Treated?
Insomnia treatment in adults may include use of an over-the-counter medication or, in other cases, use of a prescription sedative.
Over-the-counter sleep medications (diphenhydramine [Benadryl]) may worsen insomnia in children.
It is important to determine the cause of insomnia before treatment begins. Maintaining a sleep diary for one to two weeks is a good way to start. Keeping track of sleep times, caffeine and alcohol ingestion, etc. may provide clues as to the cause of insomnia.
Behavioral changes are often all that’s needed to improve sleep. By maintaining good sleep habits (sleep hygiene) the need for medication may be avoided. In children, ensure a regular sleep schedule and calming bedtime routine.
PRINCIPLES OF SLEEP HYGIENE
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule—even on weekends.
- Exercise regularly—avoid exercise in the late evening.
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- Put your worries away when you go to bed.
- Do something relaxing and enjoyable before bedtime.
- Make your bedroom quiet and comfortable.
- Avoid large meals just before bedtime.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sexual activity.
- If you cannot sleep within 15 to 20 minutes get up and go to another room. Return to bed only when drowsy.
- Remove the clock from eyesight.
- Do not nap during the day. If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine use.
- Avoid frequent use of sedatives.
- Schedule outdoor time at the same time each day.
- Have your pharmacist check your medications for potential sleep effects.
- Avoid bright lights (e.g. from TV, computers, video games) before bed.
Adapted from Jermain DM. Sleep disorders. PSAP. 1995:139-154.
What If Nondrug Treatment Fails?
If you or your child are still having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, you should talk to your pharmacist or other healthcare provider. The cause of your insomnia will need to be determined and a medication may be needed.
Even if medication is used for insomnia, sleep hygiene principles should still be followed and can provide added benefit.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Children in households with bedtime rules and children who get adequate sleep score higher on a range of developmental assessments, according to a research abstract that was recently presented at at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
For years I’ve written to parents about the multiple benefits that occur in children and teens who receive the proper quality and quantity of sleep. (You can find more information about the effects of good sleep on physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and relational health in my books, God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, and God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Child; and in some of my previous blogs listed at the bottom of this page.)
Results from this new study indicate that among sleep habits, having a regular bedtime was the most consistent predictor of positive developmental outcomes at 4 years of age.
Scores were significantly higher in children whose parents reported having rules about what time their child goes to bed in the following areas:
- receptive and expressive language,
- phonological awareness,
- literacy, and
- early math abilities.
Having an earlier bedtime also was predictive of higher scores for most developmental measures.
Here are more details about the study from a SRI International news release:
The study also provides a wealth of information about typical sleep patterns in 4-year-old children. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, preschool children should get a minimum of 11 hours of sleep each night.
Getting less than this recommended amount of sleep, the study’s authors found, was associated with lower scores on phonological awareness, literacy and early math skills. The data show that many children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep, which may have negative consequences for their development and school achievement.
“Getting parents to set bedtime routines can be an important way to make a significant impact on children’s emergent literacy and language skills,” said lead author Erika Gaylor, PhD, early childhood policy researcher at SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute. “Pediatricians can easily promote regular bedtimes with parents and children, behaviors which in turn lead to healthy sleep.”
Gaylor recommended that parents can help their preschooler get sufficient sleep by setting an appropriate time for their child to go to bed and interacting with their child at bedtime using routines such as reading books or telling stories.
The study involved a nationally representative sample of approximately 8,000 children who completed a direct assessment at 4 years of age as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth Cohort. This analysis included information from parent phone interviews when their child was 9 months old and again when their child was 4 years old. Nighttime sleep duration was based on parent-reported usual bedtime and wake time. Developmental outcomes were assessed using a shortened set of items from standardized assessments. Results were controlled for potential confounders such as child and bedtime characteristics.
“This is by far the largest study of its kind to date. Previous studies have included up to 500 children in this age group,” Gaylor said. “It’s fortunate to have this rich dataset available for analysis.”
Last year a study in the August 2009 issue of Sleep Medicine also emphasized the importance of an early bedtime and consistent bedtime routine for children. It reported that children with a bedtime after 9 p.m. took longer to fall asleep and had a shorter total sleep time. Children without a consistent bedtime routine also were reported to obtain less sleep.
The SLEEP 2010 abstract supplement is available for download on the website of the journal SLEEP here.
Here are some of my other blogs on sleep and children/teens:
- Bedtime routines improve kids’ sleep (as well as Mom’s mental health and the child’s school scores
- Are your teens having trouble getting to sleep? Many are too caffeinated!
- Your child’s lack of sleep is linked to their risk of obesity
- Cell Phone Time Takes Toll on Teen Sleep
- Teens with TV in their bedroom highly unhealthy
- A Television-Free Home: Is It for You?
Friday, 19 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
According to a new report in Reuters Health, caffeine-fueled teens are texting, web-surfing, and gaming for hours into the night, which is affecting their alertness and ability to function during the day. What can you, as a parent, do about this?
Bedtime routines improve kids’ sleep (as well as Mom’s mental health and the child’s school scores )
Friday, 8 May 2009
According to a just-released study, following a consistent bedtime routine improves infants’ and toddlers’ sleep patterns as well as their bedtime behaviors. Better yet, carrying out a regular bedtime routine also benefited mothers’ moods.
Friday, 13 June 2008
HealthDay News is reporting a study showing that normal sleep is associated with healthy aging. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego assessed 2,226 women aged 60 and older and found increased severity of sleep disturbances predicted lower self-rated successful aging and a greater difference between perceived and actual age.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
WebMD Health News is reporting that Brazilian researchers have found that the more fat you consume each day, the less likely you are to get a good night’s sleep.
Having a fat-laden cheeseburger and fries for dinner may be particularly disruptive to your sleep pattern, the small study suggests.
Monday, 9 June 2008
HealthDay News reports new research that found that women in happy marriages tend to sleep more soundly than women in unhappy marriages. The research does not answer the question, “Which comes first – does the unhappy marriage lead to poor sleep, or does poor sleep contribute to a bad marriage?”