Is your teen too worried to sleep?

Sleeping teenagerWith all the things teens have to worry about — tests, peer relationships, competing in sports and performing in concerts and plays — it’s not unusual for them to have anxiety from time to time. Anxiety can be a good thing when it helps you to deal with a tense situation.

However, some teens experience anxiety more often or more intensely than others. These teens may find it difficult to “turn off” their minds and fall asleep at night. They …Continue reading →

Is my child having natural growing pains or is it restless legs syndrome?

Is my child having natural growing pains or is it restless legs syndrome?Most children will experience growing pains. Many will have leg pain at night, especially during growth spurts. But, if the leg pain continues after the growth spurt, the pain may be due to something else. Some children complain of a creepy crawly feeling or the feeling of spiders on their legs. If this feeling keeps them up at night, they may have restless legs …Continue reading →

Teens, texting and sleep: What parents need to know

Teens, texting and sleep: What parents need to knowText messaging is a quick and easy way for teens to communicate with each other. A recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project showed that teens are sending an average of 60 text messages per day, and that number increases for adolescent girls.

Many text messages are sent after 9 p.m. Teens keep their phones on their pillows or …Continue reading →

How to know when your child is ready to stop napping

Boy taking a napEvery child is different and has different sleep needs. Some children take several small naps, while other children take one long nap. The National Sleep Foundation reports that at 2 years of age, 80 percent of children nap, while at 3 years of age, 50 percent of children still nap.

Parents often want to know when their child should cut down on the number of …Continue reading →

My child snores, should I be concerned?

Child sleepingAnyone who has heard a child snore knows that it is amazing someone so small can produce such a loud noise. As a respiratory therapist at the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, parents frequently ask me if snoring is a sign of deep sleep or if they should be concerned if their child snores.

I tell parents that many children occasionally snore, which typically does …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 …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 …Continue reading →

Tired children? Learn how a sleep test can provide answers to sleep problems

Children normally spend at least 30 percent of their time sleeping, but many do not get the quality sleep their growing bodies need. Sleep problems in children are common and often go under diagnosed. Common sleep problems in children include:

  • Sleep apnea (snoring and pauses in breathing during sleep).
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep. …Continue reading →

Sleep texting: An increasing concern for teens

Girl texting in bedDid you know more than 75 percent of teenagers have a cellphone? If your teen is like many of the teens I see as a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, it is a struggle to get them to put it down or turn it off. Many teens have their phone constantly in their hands and answer it at any hour – even in the middle of the night. They also stay up late texting friends and fall asleep with their phones on …Continue reading →

Set your children and teens up for success in school with healthy sleep habits

For many children and teens, summer vacation means late-night fun and sleeping in the next morning. But as summer vacation draws to an end, it’s important to help your kids get back on track with a healthy back-to-school sleep schedule.

Children ages 6 – 12 require 10 – 11 hours of sleep while teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep. Chronic sleep depravation in children has been linked to poor school performance, weight gain and obesity, behavioral issues and developmental and mood …Continue reading →