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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. 

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.

How To Develop Good Sleep Hygiene

How To Develop Good Sleep Hygiene

Many children and adults have trouble getting to sleep at night. This might be caused by bad “sleep hygiene” this term is defined as things that can help facilitate good, continuous and adequate sleep.

Creating good sleep hygiene can be quite simple by following these tips.

Create a Quiet Room – Remove items that can disrupt sleep. For example electronics, TV, or even noisy pets. Also have light blocking curtains to block out the glow from street lamps if you live in a city. Having a white noise machine can also be helpful to block out the neighborhood sounds that might be distracting.

Establish Gadget Free Time – The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of “gadget free transition time” before bedtime. It is important to “power down” to get higher sleep quality. As said in some of our earlier articles the blue light emitted from devices can decrease the production of the important sleep hormone melatonin. Having low melatonin makes it harder for a person to drift off to sleep. Mobile phones and tablets used in bed can wreck sleep hygiene.

Power Down Physically and Mentally- Do not exercise mentally or physically too close to bedtime. If you want to exercise in the evening make sure to do so at least an hour before bedtime which can help you produce endorphins which might help you decrease stress. Though the boost in endorphins can also make it hard to sleep. So do not run on the treadmill when you should be relaxing and preparing for bed. Also do not work your mind too hard before bed. Make sure to schedule answering emails and other work tasks at least thirty minutes before it is time to “hit the hay”. Working to close to bedtime can make your mind race when it should be calming down.

Create a Comfy Environment- Many would not think the bedroom decor would have much effect on the quality of sleep. However how a room is set up can change how a person sleeps. Having clean sheets, and blankets that are not too hot or too cold can make a difference. Also like stated previously in this article white noise machines and dark curtains can be beneficial additions to your bedroom. Also make sure pillows give your neck the support it needs. Oh and odor might also disrupt sleep so check for dirty laundry or trash that needs to be taken out, which just might solve the kid waking up in the middle of the night issue. If you have kids have them help you make their bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Keep toys organized, have them pick out blankets and curtains, etc.

Creating good sleep hygiene can make a difference on the quality of sleep you receive. If you change your habits and still suffer from insomnia speak with your doctor.  If he or she suggest melatonin supplements to help look up World Wide Labs for an all natural option. 

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

 

Five Bedtime Beverages to Help You Snooze

Five Bedtime Beverages to Help You Snooze

Last month we had an article on Five Bedtime Snacks To Help You Sleep.

This article is all about bedtime beverages that can soothe your mind to help you drift off to dream land.

Bedtime Beverages and their Benefits 

lettuce-brew-tea-bedtime-snack

Natural Tea Brew- Simmering three to four lettuce leaves for 15 minutes and adding mint leaves can be a calming natural tea. Lettuce has lactucarium a natural chemical which has a sedative affect. Sipping this brew might help you ease into sleep. 

cherry-juice-bedtime-beverage

Cherry Juice – Researchers from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester discovered that tart cherries can spike the production of melatonin.  This hormone is the natural hormone in our brains that produces sleep. Drinking a glass of tart cherry juice can cause a boost of melatonin which can help you fall asleep.

peppermint-tea

Peppermint Tea- Peppermint is known to have stomach soothing properties. If you have anxiety and it is causing nausea and trouble sleeping try sipping peppermint tea to calm the butterflies and get a goodnight’s rest.

chamomile-tea

Chamomile Tea- The most popular bedtime tea is chamomile. Researchers have discovered that this tea has a chemical named glycine which can relax muscles and nerves. It is similar to a mild sedative which can help the drinker who sips this tea to fall asleep more peacefully.

passion-fruit-tea-bedtime-beverage

Passion Fruit Tea-  Researchers in Australia discovered that high levels of Harman alkaloids found in passion fruit flowers can act on the nervous system to make a person tired. Sipping this sweet herbal tea an hour before bedtime can possibly help you sleep more soundly.

doctor

If you have trouble sleeping try these beverages before bedtime. If they help feel free to share your story in the comments. If your sleeping troubles persist speak with your doctor. If the doctor suggests melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option.

Source
Reader’s Digest

 

Eight Sleeping Tips

Eight Sleeping Tips

Are you up at night staring at the ceiling wishing you could fall asleep? Or are you so stressed about the next day that you are too wired to lay down your head and dream? If you have these struggles here are Eight Tips to help you sleep better.

One Stick to A Schedule. Set a schedule of when to go to sleep and when to wake up each day. Work to stay on this schedule and your body will learn to follow this habit. It will learn when to release sleep hormones to make you more relaxed and ready for bed.

alarm clock

Two Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Diet can have an affect on your quality of sleep. Being too full or too hungry can keep you awake. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine before bed as these chemicals can cause disruption to your sleep.

Three Create a bedtime routine. Humans are creatures of habit. If you set a bedtime routine your body will recognize this. Having a list of things you do before you go to bed can help your mind relax. For example obviously brushing your teeth is a part of the bedtime routine. Though maybe you can add other special tasks for example putting on lotion or reading to your kids etc. If you are a parent of young children having a bedtime routine set for them can make all the difference. It can help you and them sleep better which can create better mornings and clearer minds. This can create greater success at work and school.brushing teeth

Four Get comfortable! Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Have comfortable pillows, seasonal blankets, fan/heater etc. If you need to put up dark curtains, and have white noise machines. Also make sure your bedroom is only a bedroom. Do not have your office there. Also do not use your laptops or other devices in bed. This can confuse the mind thinking bed is for work or play and will send the signals to stay awake rather than the signals for sleep. 
bedroom

 

Five Limit daytime naps. This one is important if you want to set good sleeping habits. If you do take a nap make sure it is only between ten to thirty minutes. If you are a night shift worker obviously these rules are different for you. If you need to sleep in the day set good alarms and also have dark curtains so you can fully fall asleep. 

Six Include physical activity in your daily routine. Have an active lifestyle but remember to not exercise too close to the time you want to go to sleep. Being active during the day will help your mind and body wind down at night.
running

Seven Manage Stress. Too much stress can cause disruption to sleep. A helpful tip is to write down everything that is causing you stress. Or to write a to do list for the next day. That way the things that were on your mind are now on a piece of paper (or in a note app).

 

Eight Know when to see a doctor. If your sleep is being severely disturbed or disrupted talk to your doctor about possible treatment. Doctor

Resource –
Mayo Clinic

 

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