Last week, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post shared some great highlights from her interview with Dr. Rakesh Bhattacharjee, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago’s Divisions of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, regarding children’s sleep and what parents should know:
Here’s what we learned:
- Electronics have a huge impact on children’s sleep: In today’s society, the use of tablets, video game systems, smart phones and televisions are quite popular among children. Research tells that the blue light emitted from those devices can lead to later bedtimes, frequent sleep disruptions or even complete sleep deprivation.
- Proper sleep is critical for children: Both poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation have been linked to behavioral, cognitive and attention problems, making learning more difficult. Obesity and inflammation also increases, which can lead to heart disease.
- Parents can make a difference: Help your children understand the importance of sleep and good sleep hygiene by first, being aware of how quality snooze affects your own life. Then, recognize how many hours your children need for brighter mornings, creating a consistent bedtime routine and sharing why it’s important. Dr. Bhattacharjee also recommends speaking with a licensed pediatrician to learn more about improving children’s sleep habits.
- Sleep apnea is a serious issue: Studies have shown that pediatric sleep apnea is linked with childhood obesity, which is linked to heart disease. As children are still developing, the poor sleep quality that comes along with having the sleep disorder may be contributing to people dying from heart disease at an earlier age.
To get started improving sleep in your household, take a look at the recommended sleep times by the National Sleep Foundation. Then, start the conversation about the importance of sleep along with creating soothing routine that will lead up to a set bedtime.