It’s official: there is about one month left of summer before school starts up for most adolescents. While there’s a lot to talk about at this time of year – everything from insect repellent for those nasty mosquitoes to the high rates of underage drinking at summer music festivals – I’m going to focus on a conversation that I find myself in with many of my teenage patients at this time of year:
Cramming for exams, research, work, even late-night parties – there are many things that compete for a college student’s time and sleep is often the first thing to go. But getting an adequate amount of sleep is important for a student’s overall health and well-being.
On average, a young adult should get eight to nine hours of sleep. When a person experiences a chronic lack of adequate sleep, there can be numerous and sometimes significant side effects, including:
Each year nearly 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly in the United States. A majority these deaths are from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related issues. SIDS is the leading cause of deaths for infants under 1 year of age.
SIDS is the term used to describe the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation. Although there is no known way to prevent SIDS completely, there are ways to reduce the risk by modifying several factors.
There’s a cute new parody children’s book “Goodnight iPad,” begins like this:
“In the bright buzzing room, there was a iPad, and a kid playing Doom, and a screensaver of a bird launching over the moon…”
Parents in the know will get a chuckle out of the 21st century homage to the classic children’s book, “Goodnight Moon.” But for many of my young patients who struggle to get a good night’s sleep, the parody is unfortunately too close to reality.
Ah…sleep. It seems so precious and limited when babies are young. New parents quickly learn not to take a good nights’ sleep for granted. When should breastfed babies be expected to sleep throughout the night?
Sleep is a work in progress during the first year of a baby’s life. There is no easy answer.
The First Month
In the first few weeks after birth, babies almost always fall asleep at the end of nursing. Their tummies are full, they just worked for their meal by actively nursing, and they are warm and cozy in mom’s arms. Who wouldn’t take a snooze after this?