Baby Sleep is Unpredictable

Last night was brutal. My little man was up every couple of hours. Screaming for no apparent reason. It was tough. But, what made it even tougher was the fact that he had just turned a corner with his sleep habits, and had started sleeping through the night for like 5 days in a row. He is 13 months old. Unfortunately, a baby’s sleep is never predictable. I remember my daughter having episodes like that too. And, she was my best sleeper. My middle child was the worst, not sleeping through the night until he was 18 months old. And, … Continue reading

Medical Residents Need More Sleep!

I work at a health science center and deal directly with medical residents.  I update web pages for them and when I meet with them face-to-face, they are usually bright and alert.  But, it may not be the case of the majority of residents. I know from updating some of our web pages that there are rules in place to make sure residents get enough time off to rest.  I mean, they are only human, right?  Well, some seem to be superhuman, or at least think they are and that may be a problem. In 2003, the Accreditation Council for … Continue reading

Teen Sleep Deprivation Study

I remember when I was a teen, it seemed like I never needed to sleep. Now, if I don’t get 8 hours a night, I am a total grump. But, a recent study showed that sleep deprivation in teens can be potentially dangerous. Lela R. McKnight-Eily of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the lead author of the study recently published in Prevention Magazine. She and other researchers looked at data from the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Study. That study collected info on teens in grades 9 through 12 from every state and the District of Columbia and … Continue reading

Consider Sleep Deprivation with Behavior Issues

I do not mean to imply that all naughty behavior is due to lack of sleep, but I definitely think that sleep issues and behavior problems go hand-in-hand. As first time parents, many of us learned how quickly our judgment and basic function skills could be affected by lack of sleep but it can be one of those realities we overlook when looking at reasons for our children’s behavior. I think many people assume that if a child is sleep deprived, he or she will be sleepy or tired or lethargic. In fact, many sleep deprived kids may be just … Continue reading

What Else Does Exhaustion Do to You?

A few days ago, I took a good look at myself and how being tired changes me. I get cranky, I get over-emotional, I eat more, and I get clumsy. And I’m not alone. Research has looked at how your body changes when you’re low on sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you crave junk food. Your body will be craving more calories than you actually need — especially in the form of sugars and starches. Just two nights of sleep deprivation makes your body produce more hunger hormones and fewer appetite suppressing hormones. Sleep deprivation makes your stress hormones spike. Cortisol … Continue reading

What Does Exhaustion Do to You?

This is a totally subjective question. What does exhaustion do to you? Here’s what it does to me: Exhaustion makes me cranky. I tend to get very short tempered with people when I’m over-tired. Things come out much more sharply than I intend. I am brisk with friends and family. Exhaustion makes me clumsy. Yesterday, I dropped a full pitcher of iced tea (that I had just made) in the sink. No more iced tea! I’ve also made the mistake of taking a glass class — making pendants on a torch — when I was over-tired. I ended up dropping … Continue reading

Sleep- It Does a Body Good

I was thinking about how much I really needed a nap when I ran across an article in USA Today where researchers are cautioning us that once we lose too much sleep day after day, our ability to catch up on our sleep may also be lost. As busy parents most of us don’t get 8 hours of sleep. How can we with so much on our plate? There’s always something that has to be done around the house. We’re either finishing up one day or preparing for the next day. Not to mention some parents stay up late so … Continue reading

Lack of Sleep Affects Big Kids Too

When our children are babies and preschoolers, we parents know how important those naps are! Many of us become so in tune with our tiny children that we know the minute they start to fuss or get crabby that it is time for the anticipated nap or at least some rest time. As our kids get older, and their homework load increases, and their activities become like a second job—we might forget that they still need plenty of sleep. Many behavior issues—both at home and at school—can be traced back to lack or shortage of sleep. I really notice how … Continue reading

Are You an Overweight Mom? Get Some Sleep!

Do you crave starchy foods all day? Are you hungry all the time? Is your diet failing because you just can’t stop eating? It could be that you simply aren’t getting enough sleep. According to Dr. Joseph Ojile of the Clayton Sleep Institute, there is a direct connection between poor sleep and obesity. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation has found poor sleep habits to be such a part of obesity that they want obesity therapists to consider this issue in the fight against obesity with as much importance as diet and exercise. The proof came in 2004 when a … Continue reading

Getting Enough Sleep Should Be a Priority

Meeting the needs of children with medical problems or behavioral disorders can be exhausting. A child who must be checked and re-checked throughout the night, or one with sleep disturbances or night terrors can leave parents frustrated and overwhelmed. And if we’re not careful, we can become accustomed to getting very little rest and almost forget what a real night of recuperative sleep feels like. When we’re sleep-deprived, we’re more likely to feel like we’re incapable of handling everything we have to accomplish in a day. Problems seem so much bigger. We’re irritable without knowing exactly why. Sometimes sleep-deprivation makes … Continue reading