Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tweens Need More Sleep

Experts say tweens and teens need at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night, if not more. But only 20% of the 12 to 18 year old surveyed for a study published in Pediatrics reported sleeping 8 hours or more hours on school nights. What's keeping them up? Caffeinated energy drinks and too many electronic gadgets. Think phones, TVs, MP3 players, and computers, often all in the same room. What can you do? Christina Calamaro, Ph.D., the lead author of the study offers these tips:

1.Keep tech devices out of the bedroom. This is not just your child's room, your own as well. " This is an important thing to model," Calamaro says.

2. Encourage ( and again, model) good "sleep hygiene." Try to start winding down and that includes turning off the computer and TV and hour before bedtime if you can. Reading can help you and your child relax.

3. Know the difference between energy drinks and sports drinks. "Energy drinks are full of caffeine and sugar and have no purpose but to keep you awake," explains Calamaro. "Sports drinks are for replenishment after exercise or a game."


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