Stories about: Sleep

When it comes to your baby and sleep, do what you want to do.

It’s 3 am, and Baby is crying. You fed her just after midnight and cuddled her back to sleep…but now she’s awake again.

You wonder: do I have to keep doing this? If I teach her to go back to sleep herself, will it make her hate me? Will it damage her psychologically—will she grow up thinking that the world is a bad place?

The answer, according to a new study, is no. 

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Back-to-school health: going from a summer to school year sleep schedule

It’s just about time for the kids to head back to school, which means a sudden change in schedule and environment. These changes may be a secret source of joy for summer weary parents, but in certain situations the switch can cause health problems in children. For instance:

  • Asthma related hospitalization spike around the second week of school for thousands of children
  • Readjusting to school sleep schedules after summer vacation can cause children to get less sleep, which in turn can lead to poor school performance and behavior, increased risk for obesity and other mental health concerns

Over the next few weeks Thriving will identify a few of the more common back-to-school health problems, and provide parents with tips on how to avoid them.

How to smoothly transition your child from a summer to school sleep schedule.

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Behavioral issues in children could be linked to snoring

If you’ve ever lived with a person who snores, you know the noise can be enough to keep you up at night. It’s an annoyance for sure, but new research shows that when young children snore it could lead to more serious behavioral and emotional problems.

A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that young children who have sleep-disordered breathing (snoring or other breathing issues during sleep) could be more likely to develop conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety by the time they’re seven years old. The study followed 13,000 children, from infancy to the age of 7, and found that those who snored or had some form of breathing problem while asleep were far more likely to develop behavioral or emotion problems than children who had no breathing issues while asleep.

So how are the two related? The answer is going to be different for each child, but it often comes down to how a child’s nighttime breathing affects his rest.

“When you have sleep-disordered breathing, you wake up momentarily when your breathing drops,” says Sanjeev Kothare, MD, interim medical director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston. “So if a child is waking up 50 times a night he’s not getting the proper amount of rest, and that could manifest itself in hyperactivity or other behavioral problems.”

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Why have kids’ sleep recommendations changed over the years?

There’s a general consensus among the medical community that many young people aren’t getting enough sleep these days. And with high tech distractions like TV, video games and the Internet competing for their late night attention, it’s no wonder that today’s children aren’t getting as much rest as they should.

But is there really such a thing as the perfect amount of sleep for young people? And is this current lack of sleep really a new problem, the byproduct of our kids’ fascination with Xbox, Facebook and the like? According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, the answer is no on all accounts.

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