Teens and sleep: The impact of high school start times

Teens and sleep: The impact of high school start timesIn a recent policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that middle schools and high schools delay the start of class to at least 8:30 a.m. So why the change?

The truth is, teenagers often become night owls around the time they hit puberty, due to a …Click here to continue reading

Tips to help children enjoy their first overnight camp experience

Tips to help children enjoy their first overnight camp experienceSummer vacation is just around the corner and kids are counting the days until the fun of summer camp begins. It’s normal for children to be apprehensive about sleeping overnight at camp.

Here are a few tips to help your child have an enjoyable first overnight camp experience …Click here to continue reading

How to get your teenager’s sleep back on track before school starts

How to get your teenager’s sleep back on track before school starts

Between 5 and 10 percent of teens have delayed sleep phase syndrome.

It’s noon and your teenager is just waking up. To many parents, this is a familiar sign of the carefree days of summer. Unfortunately, as the start of a new school year approaches, many parents wonder how their teens will be able to wake up in time to catch the bus.

Some teens are hard wired to fall asleep later. Sometimes, we refer to these teens as “night owls.” Of course, staying awake late into the night can lead to sleeping all morning.

As teenagers go through puberty, there …Click here to continue reading

Dare to be different: Make a resolution to get more sleep in 2013

Girl sleepingIt’s the time of year when millions of Americans make their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight or start exercising. I dare you to be different and make a resolution to get more sleep in 2013.

A good night’s sleep seems simple, but it can positively affect your health in many ways, including:

  • Eating healthier: People who are sleep deprived eat an average of 500 additional calories per day. Those extra calories add up to gaining an extra pound per week!
  • Increased energy: Getting the sleep you need …Click here to continue reading

Teens and caffeine: How much is too much?

teenagerI am always amazed by the number of teens at Starbucks buying coffee or highly caffeinated drinks. As a nurse in the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, it makes me think about how all this caffeine affects their sleep.

Caffeine is a stimulant that makes you feel alert and awake. If you consume too much or drink it too close to bedtime, caffeine can lead to difficulty sleeping and waking in the middle of the night.

In the past, teens typically consumed caffeine from soft drinks or candy, but not anymore. They are drinking coffee, caffeinated water and energy …Click here to continue reading

Teens plus drowsy driving equals a dangerous situation

Sleepy drivingFor many high school students, summer vacation means late nights out with friends, summer jobs, sports tournaments and overnight camps. Juggling all the summer activities can add up to irregular sleep schedules and too little sleep, putting teens at risk for drowsy driving.

Teen drivers are new to the road and need to be alert and free of distractions when driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers are four times more likely to be in a fatal car accident. That statistic would probably be higher if it …Click here to continue reading

Spring into good sleep habits

Spring is here! It’s so nice to have brighter, longer days, but it might mean that you’re having a hard time getting your kids to sleep in the evening.

You probably know that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. But how much sleep do kids need?

  • Infants (birth to 12 months old) – 10 ½ to 18 hours (total of nighttime and naps)
  • Toddlers (1 to 3 years old) – 12 to 14 hours (total of nighttime and naps)
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) – 11 to 13 hours
  • School-age kids (6 to 12 years old) – 10 to 11 hours
  • Teens (13 to 18 years old) – 9 to 9 ½  hours

Here’s a helpful sleep checklist: …Click here to continue reading

Smoke alarms don’t always wake a sleeping child

During the cold, snowy Wisconsin winter nights, I like to enjoy a cozy fire in our fireplace, sip hot cocoa and bundle up in a warm sweater. Sadly, winter also means a higher risk of home fires.

Did you know that over half of home fires happen late at night when people are sleeping? A nighttime house fire can be devastating, but knowing a few facts may protect your family if you wake up in the middle of the night and smell smoke.

Kids sleep more deeply than adults, and that may make it more difficult to wake them during an emergency. I recently read a study that said young children often sleep through …Click here to continue reading