Stories about: Sleep

Confession: this pediatrician is a sleep softie

This may not be a great confession to make as a pediatrician, but when it comes to sleep and kids, I am a total softie.

Our kids slept in our bed. We slept in theirs (which was very cramped in the toddler bed, and didn’t do great things to the frame)—or lay next to them as they drifted off to sleep. We sat on the floor, telling stories and singing lullabies and slowly edging out of the bedroom as their breathing got deep and regular. We went in again and again to retrieve the stuffed animal from under the bed or to investigate the scary noise or possible spider. When they woke in the middle of the night, we held them until they went back to sleep—sometimes night after night.

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Sleep deprivation in teens: risky business?

Like toothpaste and orange juice, teenagers and 6 a.m. usually make for a bad morning combination. Between the threats of missed buses to the walking dead shuffle from the bedroom to the bathroom, mornings can seem like a nightmare for many households with teens. But with so many sleep-deprived teenagers staying awake until all hours of the night, this dreaded morning ritual comes as no surprise to most parents.

If your teenager is constantly staying up too late and is hard to mobilize in the morning, at least you’re not alone. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that two third of American teens aren’t getting enough sleep. This may not surprise many parents, but the study’s real take home message is that researchers are now linking sleep deprivation to something far more troubling than morning crankiness: Teens who get less than eight hours of sleep a night may be more likely to drink, use drugs, indulge in inappropriate sexual behavior, be depressed and lead an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

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Your child's not 'a morning person?' There could be a medical explanation

stockphotopro_67428hyb_napping_By Dennis Rosen, MD, associate medical director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Sleep Laboratory

A reader recently posted a question about kids who have difficulties waking up in the morning:

I am interested in the help available for those who simply cannot wake up in the morning. My brother has, since a young kid, absolutely not been able to wake up in the morning on his own. Even with very intense attempts to wake him by others, it is about an hour long procedure in itself, maybe longer. He dropped out of college because he could not get up for class with no one there to wake him, and at 21 still lives with our parents though he fears losing his job due to missed work. Doctors he speaks with simply cast him off with “oh you just need a louder alarm clock” (He has the loudest, most obnoxious one money can buy, which includes a vibrating pad for under your pillow) or “you’re just hard to wake up” (duh). Is there any help available for people like this?

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