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Sleep Well With Sleepezy

Is your child sleep deprived?
May 08, 2007

A warm welcome to our new subscribers and a big "Hello" to all our loyal readers :-)

Is your child hard to get out of bed in the morning? Is he or she drowsy during the day, falling behind in school or just plain cranky?

Apart form the above problems, kids need their sleep because this is when the body produces growth hormones. These hormones are essential for healthy development. Around one out of three children are sleep deprived - that's an alarming statistic. So why is this happening and what can we do about it?

Most of us know the usual things that keep our kids (and us!) tossing and turning at night. If you need reminding go to our child-sleep page. There are a few lesser known causes of sleep problems in children though and we'll have a look at some of them here.

Computer games and TV in the bedroom could be the biggest enemies when it comes to your child getting the sleep he needs. There are two reasons for this. The first is that playing computer games is entertaining. Compared with this, lying in bed trying to go to sleep is pretty boring! But why is this child having trouble going to sleep in the first place?

If your child is using the TV to unwind, it's probably having the opposite effect. TV can stimulate our children's minds to the point where relaxation is impossible especially if the program is scary. Do you know what your child is watching in his bedroom?

Noise and light, even dim light, can make it difficult to fall asleep. Light prevents the brain from producing the hormone melatonin which induces sleep. The bright, flickering TV or computer screen prevents melatonin from forming.

You wouldn't give your child a cup of coffee or tea in the evening, but how about a chocolate bar or a glass of cola? Even the good old cup of cocoa has a significant amount of caffeine.

Caffeine is a notorious stimulant and most of us insomniacs know not to drink coffee late at night. But did you know caffeine can take 6-8 hours more to leave the body? So that mid afternoon cuppa may be causing your night time restlessness and than can of cola after school could be keeping your child up long after he should be asleep.

Too much to do? Kids have a lot of opportunities these days but less and less time to fit everything in. Time stress can be a major cause of child sleep problems as there is no time left at the end of the day to unwind.

Overweight kids are more prone to childhood sleep apnea. Does your child snore? Not many people realize children can suffer with sleep apnea but it's a real risk for overweight children. Best remedies are lots of exercise and less junk food. Oh! and please take them to the doctor if you suspect childhood sleep apnea.

There is a link between overweight kids and sleep problems due to metabolism and also hormone function. These theories are being tested still but may be due to sleep deprived children needing to overeat to create energy for day to day living.

Dreams are a necessary and natural way to process what happens in our lives, but does your child have nightmares or bad dreams? Kids who have nightmares regularly, sometimes resist the urge to sleep because they are afraid of scary dreams. Check on our new childhood-nightmares page if your child is affected.

These are some of the reasons your child may be sleep deprived. As you've probably figured out they also apply to us adults!

New pages at last

I've been bitten by the writing bug (ouch!) Check out our new pages:

Childhood Nightmares How to handle scary dreams

Adult Nightmares Adults have nightmares too!

Menopause Insomnia I was a bit P%$#^& off when I wrote this!

As always if a link doesn't work, copy and paste into your browser.

Until next month, my very best wishes to you.

Wendy   (NEW)

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