Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sleep Tips for Back to School

Summer is over, and for your kids, this means they have to stop staying up all night and have to get to sleep so they can wake up for school in the morning. Unfortunately, this can be a hard thing for kids to do. If your kids are having trouble getting to bed or to sleep on time, you have to step in. Here are a few tips:

  • Turn off cell phones, computers, and the TV about an hour before bedtime. This is for you as well as your kids. Laptop use in bed has been implicated as a major recent factor in sleep disorders.
  • Create a bedtime routine, and go through it with your children.
  • No caffeine at least 12 hours before bedtime. This includes chocolate, whose caffeine content can have a big impact on kids' ability to get to sleep. Substitute oatmeal cookies instead of chocolate chip.
  • A regular bedtime is a big help for kids getting to sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it. If your kids are having trouble transitioning between weekdays and weekends, you need to set the same bedtime for every day.
  • Stand up for sleep. Kids often want to stay up for chatting with friends or another story, but you need to set firm limits.
  • Keep your kids' rooms cool at night. This emphasizes to the circadian rhythm system that it it's night and time to sleep.

If you are noticing that you are doing all this, but your child is still showing signs of daytime sleepiness, bad mood, or inability to concentrate, they may actually be suffering from childhood sleep apnea, which is a major health risk and should be treated.

To learn more about treatment solutions for childhood sleep apnea, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 3:19 PM