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Category: Children And Melatonin

S.A.D In Children?

S.A.D In Children?

When people think of depression they usually imagine an adult. However depression and anxiety can affect children as well. One type of depression that affects both adults and children is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is sometimes not recognized right away because the depression comes and goes according to the seasons. Some external factors that can trigger S.A.D are cold and dark weather or the chaos of holidays or the loneliness from not seeing friends because of school break. Clinical factors can also play a role in this specific type of depression.

The specific cause of S.A.D is still unknown. However Mayo Clinic has stated that the sudden decrease of sunlight in Fall and Winter could be a possible cause. The decrease in daylight can also cause a decrease in serotonin levels. Serotonin is nicknamed the “Happy Hormone” this chemical in the brain can affect many aspects of a persons life. Including the following.

  • Sleep
  • Mood 
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Learning

If a child is acting different for example having a decreased appetite, not sleeping well, sleeping too much, acting grumpy or having new troubles in school these could be signs of S.A.D. If your child or children have any of these troubles especially during Fall or Winter it might be time to speak with a pediatrician.

The right hand hormone to serotonin is melatonin. This hormone is nicknamed the “Sleep Hormone”. The production of this hormone is signaled by darkness. With it becoming darker earlier in Fall and Winter the body might produce too much melatonin making a child feel sluggish. This sudden increase in melatonin can also cause a person’s moods to change.

People who have symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are advised to spend time in the sunlight. Daylight can increase the production of serotonin which can possibly decrease the affects of S.A.D.

Again if you notice your child has depression during certain seasons speak with your pediatrician so your son or daughter can receive the best care. 

How to Help a Night Owl Get to Bed on Time

How to Help a Night Owl Get to Bed on Time

Sometimes our sleeping habits happen within us. Some kids like to arise with the sun while others just want to dance in the moonlight. So how do you help your child who just can’t sleep at night and then is sleepy at school? Here are some tips to help your little night owl get the Zzzz he or she needs. One helpful tool can be melatonin supplements. Pediatricians advise to only use this supplement  short-term. Use this as a re-setter to help a child get back on a sleep schedule  after a stressful time, new school, family vacation etc.

Daily Parent’s Dear Addie Section had these other tips to offer

  • Move the bedtime up by about 30 minutes so that the wind-down period starts earlier
  • No sugar or caffeine within six hours of bedtime
  • No screen-time (TV, electronics, etc.) for an hour before bedtime
  • No sports/active play for an hour before bedtime

 

Change Bedtime- Creating an earlier bedtime by about thirty minutes can help a child relax their mind earlier so they will be more ready for bed when the clock hits the special hour. Also creating a quiet routine might be helpful. For example reading a fun book after homework is complete.

No Sugar or Caffeine-  Within 6 hours of bedtime close the doors on candy or caffeine. These are stimulants and can cause minds to race. These treats or drinks full of sugar can sometimes turn a calm child into a hyper night owl that refuses to go to bed.

Create Quiet Time An hour before bedtime turn off all devices and spend an hour as a family. Read a book, listen to music, have a healthy bedtime snack etc. For bedtime snack ideas read our previous articles 5 Bedtime Snacks or 6 More Bedtime Snacks.
Create Relaxing Activities-To help night owls feel sleepy when the stars are shining. Avoid active play or sports an hour before bedtime. Switch with relaxing activities like talking about the day, coloring or reading together. 

 

If these night owl tips do not help and your child is still restless it might be time to visit with his or her pediatrician.

New Year New Sleep Habits

New Year New Sleep Habits

The New Year’s weekend is starting. Many might already have a list of things they want to try to do better in 2017.  After staying up till midnight on New Years Eve, one resolution suggestion we have is to improve your sleep and therefore improve your health with the following tips.

Turn Off Devices an Hour Before Bedtime 

We have discussed the damage blue light emitted from devices can cause to melatonin development. I know times get busy and some might feel they need to check one last email or text. Though studies have shown that the less blue light you have during the night can possibly increase your quality of sleep. One idea is to set an alarm on your cell phone of when everyone in the family should turn off the T.V. and put the devices on airplane mode and on the chargers for the night.

Avoid Late Night Snacking 

There are times where you might wake up in the middle of the night craving some ice cream or whatever you can scavenge for in the fridge. However late night eating can cause issues. Sugary snacks can act as a stimulant which  can cause racing minds and fatty foods can put a strain on the digestive system. Both of these symptoms can disrupt sleep.  If you do need a little something before heading off to dream land check out these articles for some bedtime snack suggestions, 6 Bedtime Snacks 5 Bedtime Snacks or Bedtime Beverages.

Set A Schedule 

As an adult a “Bedtime Routine” might seem juvenile. Though as “creatures of habit” a routine can be beneficial. If you have children maybe following the routine with them can be helpful for the whole family. For example having an hour of quiet time before getting ready for bed, turn off the television and other devices for the night and spend time talking as a family. Things you can add to a routine to make it more enjoyable could be everyone putting on comfy pajamas, reading a chapter from a new book, writing in a journal, doing a small 2o minute dance/exercise time etc. One of your family’s New Years resolutions could be writing out a new exciting and even visual bedtime checklist for the whole family.

Speak With A Specialist 

If you or any of your children suffer from severe insomnia it might be time to speak with a specialist. Sometimes when insomnia symptoms become to difficult to handle it is time to turn to a doctor. If he or she suggests a melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option.

For other sleep tips check out our article about doctor recommended sleep aids by clicking Five Sleep Aids.

How To Recover From The Holidays

How To Recover From The Holidays

The holidays are full of excitement, stress, sugar and squished homes. These can all put a damper on sleep schedules. So how can you and your children recover from the holidays and get ready to return to the school and work schedule?

The following are some tips on how to “Return to Reality”

Decrease The Snacks 

During the holiday season a lot of neighbors drop of treats as gifts. This can be a nice gesture but make sure you or your children decrease the holiday sweet intake when it is time to return to school and work. Avoid these treats at least an hour before bedtime. For some kids and adults sugar can act like a stimulant and lead to racing minds,  which can disrupt sleep.

Turn of The Screens 

With family over and “no school” many families watch a lot of movies during the holiday break. Screen time with family is fine just make sure to click “off” all the devices at least an hour before bedtime. Blue light emitted by most devices confuses the melatonin development in the mind. This decrease in melatonin can make it harder for a child or adult to feel sleepy enough to get to bed.

Get Back to a Routine 

During the season the bedtime schedule is sometimes thrown out the window because of all the events happening. With returning to school and work, start getting back into a routine at least three days before school or work starts. Maybe even add fun new items to the bedtime schedule. For example reading a chapter a night from a book that the child received as a Christmas present, taking a bubble bath,  or getting into the cool new pajamas Grandma gave etc. Make getting ready for bed a fun checklist instead of a nightly battle.

Set Boundaries 

With all the excitement from the holidays and from receiving gifts kids might have a hard time getting to bed. Even adults might be over zealous about the cool new items they received. Set boundaries for yourself and your children. Put all “toys” away at a certain time each night preferably at least an hour before bedtime. Have a time to clean up and then have a quiet hour before bed. This will help all minds relax and produce enough melatonin to get some much needed beauty sleep.

Hopefully these tips can help you adjust back to the reality of school and work after a fun break. If you try these tips please share in the comments. If you or your child suffers with extreme sleeping problems remember to talk to your doctor. If the doctor suggests melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option.

Is Your Child Having Trouble Sleeping?

Is Your Child Having Trouble Sleeping?

Many parents have the looming question of, “My child is not sleeping! What should I do? Are melatonin supplements safe?” The first thing all parents should do is consult with a pediatrician if their child is having trouble sleeping. sneaky-toddler-in-pajamas-melatonin-children

“Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, has studied melatonin and children. She said that the supplement appears to have a good safety record, not only with special needs children but with healthy children as well, when used for short periods with a pediatrician’s oversight.”

Quoted from the Wall Street Journal

There are some tips on using melatonin safely for children. These include avoiding overdose and extended use. Also monitor a child who is using melatonin supplements to see how his or her body processes it.

Many parents might ask, “Why is my child not sleeping?”

There are multiple answers to this question, it could be fears, wetting the bed, ADD, anxiety, over-activity at night etc.

To understand why your child is not sleeping speak with them. If they have fears help them overcome those fears. Talk with a pediatrician for issues with ADD or anxiety. pediatrician-checking-heart-children-and-melatoninIf a child has over-activity, work to create a more calming bedtime routine. Avoid screens and active games that can disrupt the production of natural melatonin in the brain which can cause a child to be too hyper to want to fall asleep. Come up with quiet games or reading books when it is close to bedtime.

Other reasons a child could have trouble sleeping could be stress from homework or anxiety about tests the next day or physical stress from after-school programs.

Father helping son (7-9) with homework --- Image by © Tim Pannell/Corbis

Help a child with their homework, test etc. If they are too stressed from after-school activities think of alternatives.

With physical and mental distress, it becomes more and more difficult for the parent to put the child to bed and for the child or even teenager to actually fall asleep. This is when using melatonin for a short amount of time to get back into a schedule of good night sleep might be helpful.

 

 

 

We all need sleep! Children especially need at least  eight hours of sleep each night.

child-sleepign-with-teddybear-melatonin-and-childrenWith out a bedtime routine that helps the proper amount of melatonin to be produced a child’s brain will not function properly. Not having enough sleep can cause problems in a kid’s school and social life. Children need enough sleep to rejuvenate their bodies and minds. bedtime-routine-melatonin-and-children

 

There are many techniques to help children get a rejuvenating rest each night. Both natural and chemical. Natural include making sure there is no screen time two hours before bedtime. Parents can also make bedtime routine charts that can help elementary school children feel included in the bedtime checklist.

 

 

If these little tips do not work and your child is still truly struggling with sleeping speak with your pediatrician. If they suggest a short-term melatonin supplement check out World Wide Labs for a low dose all natural melatonin option. melatonin-pill-bottle-world-wide-labs

 

 

Source – Insomniactive

 

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