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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. 

Tips To Overcome Sleeping Problems

Tips To Overcome Sleeping Problems

Many adults toss and turn at night. There can be many causes for being restless. These can include loud noises, snoring, anxiety, habits, device use etc. The following are summarized expert advice on how to cope with sleeping problems.

Accept Waking Up-  Waking up in the middle of the night can be frustrating. If you accept this instead of getting annoyed with yourself you might be able to get back to sleep faster. If you lay in bed wondering what in the world you are doing awake you can make it harder to fall asleep. Simple acknowledge that you woke up and then take deep breaths to relax and drift off to dream land again.

Avoid being in bed too long- Do not just lay in bed wishing you could sleep. Instead get up and walk around a dimly lit room and get a glass of water, write in a journal or read a dull book etc to feel drowsy. Once you feel sleepy go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.  Also do not go to bed too early. Look at the time you need to wake up each morning and then count back eight hours this is the time you need to go to bed. Setting a time to wake up and a time to go to bed and sticking to a schedule can help your biological clock produce the correct amount of hormones for you to receive the sleep you need.

Set a routine- Sometimes with work hours, setting a sleeping schedule can be difficult. Instead try setting up a routine. A list of actions you do before bed. For example brushing teeth or other activities can help your body realize it is time for bed. For example reading a book to children, writing in a journal, washing your face, listening to classical music etc.  If you do have children, doing a bedtime routine with them can be beneficial.

Create a sleeping environment- If you are having trouble sleeping it might be that your bedroom is not a good sleeping environment. Avoid doing emails or other things on devices in bed. Also do not have a television in the bedroom. Things you can do to create a peaceful sleep environment can be, adding black out curtains, and white noise machines etc. If you create a sleep sanctuary it might help you wake up with a smile on your face.

Ease Distractions- Sometimes a snoring spouse or feeling overwhelmed can disrupt sleep. If your spouse is snoring have them go to a primary doctor to find the cause and cure for snoring. Or buy some earplugs. If you are feeling overwhelmed delegate your responsibilities to co-workers and family members.

Exercise- Exercise can cause an endorphin “rush” which can help reduce stress. A lower stress level can help increase sleep quality. If you exercise outside in the sunlight your body can receive vitamin D and light exposure which can help melatonin production.

Create “down” time- At least an hour before bedtime check your emails and do other things you need to do for the next day. Then take time to relax like reading an interesting book or talking with family members about the day. Just use this time to unwind to be ready fall asleep when your head hits the pillow.

Create a good foundation- Sleeping schedules and routines and tips might not be the fix all to sleeping problems. Though they can set a good foundation for creating better sleep habits in the future.

Seek help from sleep clinic- If your insomnia becomes severe remember to speak to a specialist. Sleep clinics can do tests to help you find the cause and a solution to your insomnia.  If the doctor suggest to take melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option.

Source – RealSimple

Photos from Google

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.

5 Sleeping Aids Recommended By Doctors

5 Sleeping Aids Recommended By Doctors

 

Getting to sleep can be a challenge at times. Here is a list of 5 Doctor recommended sleeping aids, when to use them and how.

Aromatherapy

This tip is best when you are sleepy but tense. To use arometherapy massage a small amount of aroma-therapeutic oil or balm on shoulders and neck and then breathe deeply before you lay your head down.  Studies show that lavender and lemon balm have relaxing properties. Though any fragrance you find calming can do the trick.

 

Valerian Tea

This drink is best used when you get enough sleep but still feel drowsy in the morning.  Sip a cup of this tea an hour before you hit the sack. Some studies show that Valerian can possibly increase a drinker’s quality of sleep. Do not take for more than two weeks at a time. Prolonged use can cause dependency. Also this tea can create problems with some Rx medications. So speak with a doctor before trying out Valerian.

 

GABA-enhanced Drinks or Food 

This little trick is best when your mind is racing. GABA stands for Gamma-aminobutyric acid. This chemical is an acid found in our bodies and studies have shown that it can calm the mind when taken orally.

You can buy GABA shots or you can try eating GABA enhanced foods during the day such as brown rice, bananas and mackarel. Eating these in the a.m. might help ease your mind in the p.m.

 

Melatonin Supplement

Use this natural supplement when you do not feel tired until late at night. About 15 to 20 minutes before bed take a 3mg tablet of melatonin. For an all natural option check out http://melatonin.com/.  Our minds produce melatonin naturally to signal the body it is time for bed. Though many people have suppressed melatonin levels because of over light exposure from computers and other devices at night. Always speak with your doctor before trying any supplements.

Prescription Medication

If insomnia becomes a chronic problem it is time to talk to your doctor and possibly receive a prescription. Be patient with yourself and your doctor as finding the right medication takes time.

If you try any of these sleep aids and they help please share your story in the comments below.

Source – CNN Health

 

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

 

Melatonin as A Biological Clock Reset for Children

Melatonin as A Biological Clock Reset for Children

kids-jumping-on-bed-melatonin

With holidays around the corner and school in session bedtime can be a little hectic. Many children refuse to go to bed this is nick named “bedtime resistance” there are things parents can do to help their children to actually get to bed and not push back. A good nights rest is especially important for children because it can affect their health. Children with ADHD are most likely to have troubles going to bed because their mind is racing. Other issues can be too much stimulation near bedtime etc.  Melatonin, a chemical in the brain that helps produce sleep, surges about thirty minutes before we begin to feel sleepy. A parent can help their child feel ready for bed by starting to do quiet activities thirty minutes before bed. Then spend time getting ready for bed.

A family can create a bedtime chart or routine whatever works best for their family style to help kids feel ready to go to bed. Parts of the routine should obviously include brushing teeth and dimming lights. Avoid watching television too close to bedtime as the light from the TV can decrease melatonin production and cause bedtime resistance. Switch out screen time with card games, bedtime stories or just time spent talking about the day.

bedtime-reading-girl-with-mom-melatonin

Even with a great bedtime routine kids biological clocks can be disrupted. Vacations, anxiety and sickness can all be factors of a decrease in melatonin and an interruption in good sleep. Pediatricians can suggest a low dose of melatonin used in a short amount of time to be used as a “internal clock reset”. Melatonin supplements can possibly help a child readjust after an event that can disrupt sleep.

Here are some tips to help a child get to sleep and stay asleep.

  • Close blinds close to bedtime baby-sleeping-with-teddy-bear-melatonin-com-kids-sleeping-tips
  • Avoid long naps
  • Avoid naps too close to bed time
  • Find a routine you as a parent enjoy
  • Create a bedtime and a wake up time this helps regulate melatonin
  • Talk with children about what is bothering them, they might have anxiety that is keeping them up at night.

Parents should remember to not over use melatonin as a bedtime fix. A child might become dependent on the supplement which can cause health problems. There are still new studies bringing new information about children and melatonin supplements. Always speak to a pediatrician before starting any new medication.

pediatrician-melatonin-nurse Sleep is a lifetime skill. Parents should help their children learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep. Creating good habits for yourself as a parent can help your children create good habits by watching your example.

If your child has severe difficulty falling asleep speak with your pediatrician. If the doctor suggests melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs  for an all natural option.

 

 

School Year Bedtime Tips

School Year Bedtime Tips

With school just starting some families might still be struggling to get back into the school year bedtime routine. If you are a parent with a child who wants to stay up late and then struggles during the school day here are some tips that might help you get back to a schedule. 

At least a week before school starts, get back to school-year bedtimes

  • Many schools are already in session. Though this is a good idea for holiday breaks. Even though kids will want to stay up late during school holidays make sure they get the sleep they need and stick to a schedule so they will not be out of sync when school returns.

No electronics within an hour before bedtime limit-kid-tv-time

  • Have a rule to turn off all devices one hour before bedtime. Do not stay up watching movies. Maybe choose to read a calming book or talk about each child’s favorite part of the day as part of a routine to wind down for the evening. 

Have a predictable, consistent bedtime routinemother-and-son-reading-with-lion

  • Humans are creatures of habit. If you create a consistent, enjoyable and calming routine, children’s minds will start to relax and produce melatonin (hormone that produces sleep) to prepare for bed. Routines can be simple and classic or special to your family. For example the hour before bedtime read a chapter from a book, then have kids take a bath, put on pajamas, brush teeth and then say goodnight. You can add anything you want to a bedtime routine to make it special and unique. owk-nightlight
    Darkness is key
  • Creating a dark environment is important for melatonin creation. When there is light the brain believes it is day and sends signals to stay awake. Having a dark room to aid sleep might be hard for some children who are afraid of the dark. As many parents know having a simple dim night light can help calm these fears.

 Limit caffeine (or sugar) in the evening hours

  • Caffeine and sugar are natural stimulants and can cause a child’s mind to stay active when bedtime comes around. Dessert is fun but make sure to serve these yummy treats a few hours before bedtime and create a limit of one serving per child. 

Calculate the best bedtime

  • Research how many hours of sleep your child needs at their age. Look at when school starts and decide when children need to be awake in the morning to have enough time to get ready for school. Then use these figures to decide the best bedtime for your children.  

bedtime-clock

Get the temperature right

  • The best temperature for a good night sleep is between 68 and 70 degrees. Use a fan or AC to keep children’s bedrooms at a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Get a white-noise machine

  • A consistent white-noise machine , that is not too loud, can help mask outside noises that might wake up a child.

Keep an eye on wake-up times

  • Make rules about getting out of bed. Sometimes children wake up too early and have not received enough rest. Help children understand when to go to bed and when to wake up by adding a large digital clock to their bedroom.

Father kissing daughter on forehead in bedroom

Involve kids in the process of creating a bedtime routine

  • Kids are more willing to agree to rules when they help create them. Add unique bedtime activities that match your child’s hobbies and personality. For example quiet color time, brush teeth to music, bedtime yoga, glass of milk or water etc. There are hundreds of ideas for creating fun bedtime routines found on Pinterest. You can click this link to get ideas Pinterest Bedtime Ideas

Hopefully these tips help make bedtime run more smoothly. If your child continues to have trouble sleeping, speak with a pediatrician to see if melatonin supplements can help your child fall asleep more peacefully.

 

No Screens Before Bedtime

No Screens Before Bedtime

In this digital world many families spend too much time watching T.V or playing on tablets and smartphones. These are not evil devices though they can cause damage to health.

child in bed with phone

“A  child needs eight hours of peaceful sleep daily to remain fit and active. Excessive addiction to mobile phones distracts the mind and disturbs his or her sleep-wake cycle.” (DailyMail) With this distraction causes a decrease in melatonin, this is the natural chemical in the brain that is released to tell the mind and body to relax and go to sleep.The blue light from devices makes the mind believe it is daytime, so it does not release the needed amount of melatonin to sleep even though it is late at night.

Parents with young children should take note that screen time late at night can change sleeping patterns. This can cause problems in focusing at school. Parents should encourage kids to play outside during the day and to turn off all devices at least one hour before bedtime. By doing this a child can create better sleeping habits. By receiving the eight to ten hours of sleep needed a child’s performance in school and their daily attitude can improve greatly.

This benefit was stated by Dr Geetha Srinivasan, (senior consultant, pediatric ophthalmology, ICARE Hospital) who said, “…cutting back on tech use at night means getting better sleep, making people more productive at both work and school.”

For parents with children with insomnia, ADHD or Autism should look into creating new habits as well. Though if bedtime routines and cutting back screen time does not improve the quality of sleep of their child parents can consult doctors about melatonin supplements.

Melatonin supplements simply increase the natural chemical melatonin to help children, teens and adults naturally fall asleep. To learn more about melatonin and children click this link. http://bit.ly/MelatoninAndChildren

Resources
(
Harrisburg Magazine)

(Natural Health 365)

(Daily Mail)

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