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 …Continue reading →

Why kids with Down syndrome are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea in children with Down syndromeIn 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics published updated guidelines regarding the medical care for children with Down syndrome. It was recommended that all children with Down syndrome should have a sleep study by age 4. Why?

Children with Down syndrome are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. OSA is a sleep disorder in which the upper airway periodically closes off, not allowing airflow, until …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 …Continue reading →

Head banging while sleeping: Is your child OK?

Head banging while sleeping: Is your child OK?Head banging is a type of rhythmic movement that healthy infants and children may use to fall asleep at the beginning of the night and during normal nighttime arousals in the middle of the night. Other similar rhythmic behaviors include body rolling or body rocking. Common …Continue reading →

Why too little sleep can cause your child to be overweight

Is too little sleep causing your child to be overweight?Insufficient sleep can be manifested in many ways in children and teenagers, such as:

  • Falling asleep unintentionally in school
  • Problems with memory, concentration, problem solving; hyperactivity
  • Behavioral or mood problems.

Research is also now showing that getting too little sleep can be linked to a long list of …Continue reading →

Children and sleepwalking: What parents need to know

Children and sleepwalking: What parents need to knowYour 5 year old has been in bed and asleep since 8 p.m. At 10 p.m. you’re in the kitchen cleaning up and you see your child walk into the living room. You call out to him and he does not respond.

You then recall a similar event the night before when he wandered into your bedroom and urinated in your closet. You run over to him as he is about to “water the plants” and redirect …Continue reading →

Lack of sleep is shown to worsen ADHD symptoms in children

Lack of sleep is shown to worsen ADHD symptomsAttention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. It may persist into adolescence and adulthood. A diagnosis of ADHD is dependent on symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Many of the most common behaviors linked to inadequate or disrupted sleep in children are similar to the symptoms of ADHD, including problems with attention and focusing, …Continue reading →

4 tips to help your baby sleep well

4 tips to help your baby sleep well

It’s important to establish a safe sleep environment for your baby.

As a sleep specialist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I’ve dedicated my career to helping kids get the sleep they need to reach their full potential. One of the most difficult times to get enough sleep is after you bring a new baby home.

Sleep is important at every age, but it’s especially important for a baby who is growing and developing at a rate faster …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 …Continue reading →

What to do when your child has a sleep terror

Sleep terrors can be scary for parents

Sleep terrors are quite common in children.

You tell him that you’re there, but he kicks and screams even louder. You try to hold him and you can feel his heart pounding. He’s sweaty. He’s looking right at you with glazed eyes, and he keeps thrashing, screaming and crying. After 30 minutes to an hour of trying to comfort him, he settles down and falls asleep. Two hours later, it happens again.

The next morning you wake up tired and your child wakes up full of energy, as if nothing happened.

These are typical sleep terrors, and as scary as they seem, they are quite common in children. Sleep terrors …Continue reading →