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Category: Trouble Sleeping

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

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

 

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