Sleep problems and chronic daytime fatigue have nearly doubled among middle school-age children over the past 20 years. Finnish researchers note the proliferation of personal electronic devices and the popularity of energy drinks among the factors behind this trend. The long-term health consequences can be serious.
Around 20% of middle school girls and 10% of boys in the same age group complain of chronic daytime fatigue.
According to surveys by Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the WHO’s Health Behaviour in School-aged Children carried out by researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, the trend is likely to peak during this decade.
Previous studies have pointed to a number of lifestyle factors that impact the sleeping habits of the young, including the evening and nighttime use of electronic devices such as smartphones, video gaming devices, computers and electronic tablets.
“Usage of these devices has probably hit its ceiling, because in practice every schoolchild [in Finland] has a smartphone.
Children with sleep apnea syndrome who have their tonsils and adenoids removed sleep better, are less restless and impulsive, and live a generally happier and better quality of life. A new study by the National Institutes of Health concludes that children trapped in the cycle of watchful waiting regarding tonsil and adenoid care (usually mandated by insurance companies) suffer unnecessarily from incorrect diagnosis of attention deficit disorders, anxiety disorders, and are medicated for multiple behavioral disorders, when in fact they have sleep disordered breathing often caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
“This study provides data that can help parents and providers make more informed decisions about treating children with this disorder, and it identifies additional areas of research, according to Susan Shurin, MD.
As teenagers return to school, the nightmarish reality of increased homework along with more social demands may make getting a full night sleep just a dream. They may feel trapped for time and feel forced to sacrifice their sleep. Teens may model themselves on their sleep-deprived parents and peers and think they are supposed to get less sleep as they mature. Yet science confirms that making healthy sleep a priority will help teens and their families in many ways. Alternatively, sleep deprivation is associated with serious problems including irritability, learning difficulty, motor vehicle accidents, and increased risk of suicide.
For a maturing teenager, developing an autonomous lifestyle is a matter of choices. When they make a decision, they must weigh what is in it for them. Making sleep a priority is a lifestyle choice that quickly pays off.
Source: Vancouver Sun. Click here to view original post.
BY TIFFANY CRAWFORD, VANCOUVER SUN OCTOBER 16, 2013
A new app has been developed by The Children’s Sleep Network to help doctors diagnose sleep disorders in children. Experts say often sleep disorders go undetected in children leading to doctors misdiagnosing them with attention deficit disorders and subsequently given medication they don’t need.
A new app developed by sleep experts in Vancouver to help doctors screen kids for sleep problems could reduce the number of patients misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorders.
The Children’s Sleep Network, in collaboration with the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, has completed a sleep wake behaviours app (SWAPP,) the first of its kind, that delivers a set of questions for each of the most common sleep problems children face.
It also scans for medications and functional diagnoses and provides all information in a printout to the parents and health care professionals.
Darien, IL – Two free interactive apps from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) launched today, giving parents new resources to teach their children about the value of sleep using an iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android device.
Available for download from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon, the apps use interactive storytelling and activities to show animals’ sleep patterns, environment and adaptations – illustrating how sleep is important for all animals, and people too! The apps, which are based on two educational children’s picture books, will help kids understand the need for a soothing sleep environment and the importance of developing healthy sleep habits that will last a lifetime.
“It’s important that children develop an understanding of why they have to go to sleep – because it will help them grow andplay and feel better during the day – not just because their parents say so,” said Shalini Paruthi, MD, spokesperson for the AASM.