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Childhood Sleep Challenges

What do Childhood Sleep Disorders Look Like?

“Jeremy is not a morning person” means that Jeremy has a sleep disorder!

Having a hard time waking up in the morning is really common. And, there is usually at least one parent who has the same thing, so we think these kids are normal, but they’re not. If you ask Jeremy how he sleeps he’ll say “fine”. But, what I learned in my practice as a Neurologist was that Jeremy’s sleep study was abnormal. He was sleeping alright but he didn’t have enough of the deeper, healing phases of sleep.

When Jeremy is trying to wake up at 6:30 to go to school Jeremy’s brain is saying “no…. Jeremy stay in bed, I’m not finished. All those things you learned yesterday, I haven’t moved them to permanent storage yet! Ms. Williams will be so annoyed because you won’t remember them!” The brain really needed to sleep until 10:00 am to finish last night’s tasks, but it didn’t get to.

Morning fatigue is the mildest and most common sleep disorder in children. It can be fixed by using the RightSleep® regimen to get the vitamin D level to normal sleep range ( 60-80) in combination with B50 to bring the normal intestinal bacteria back. Those two steps will supply the brain with the chemicals it needs to be able to complete all the tasks of childhood deep sleep in 8 hours instead of 12-14 hours.

Childhood Insomnia is not a choice

Children who can’t fall asleep or stay asleep have very a severe sleep disorder and inevitably develop either physical or psychological illness due to this lack of deep sleep. Normal children (2-9 years old) with normal vitamin D levels, fall asleep easily at 8:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am happy and ready to go! If that is not your child there is something you can do that can improve their life and your life! RightSleep® is the way to get your child back into normal sleep every night.

Normal teens fall asleep easily at 10:00

Blaming your teenager for staying up too late is a common theme. We blame them for using their electronic devices. But it turns out they have a sleep disorder too. Before puberty usually they’re tired on awakening, after puberty that same kid can’t fall asleep until 1-2 am. They want to fall asleep but they can’t, so they get bored and go to their phone or their computer. Normal teens, with normal brain chemistry fall asleep at 9-10 pm and wake up easily at 6:00 am. If this is not your teenager check out the RightSleep® method and take the time to learn how to get your teenager sleeping normally.

Anxiety and Depression are related to Sleep:

Anxiety and depression are now very common in childhood. They are both related to sleep. All of us who have experience a few nights of bad sleep know that our emotional state, our level of patience and our ability to think clearly are related to how well we sleep.  Normalize sleep using RightSleep® and you can slowly improve these emotional issues without pharmaceuticals.

Autism and Aspergers are caused by abnormal sleep:

Most authors believe that autism comes with accompanying sleep issues. I disagree, I think that autism is caused by the sleep disorder.

If the sleep disorder can be fixed that means the autistic features can be fixed! Sleeping does not necessarily imply that the sleep is completely normal and brain development is nightly linked to normal amounts of deep sleep.

Why Deep Sleep is so important:

Sleep is of two types: “light sleep”, and “deep sleep”. During the two phases of deep sleep we are paralyzed. Deep sleep can be either Slow Wave Sleep, (the brain waves are in a slow rhythm), or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The “work” of sleep is done only in Deep Sleep!

We know that growth hormone is only secreted during slow wave sleep. This means that children only grow during that specific phase of sleep. If they don’t stay in slow wave sleep long enough they don’t grow normally. So growing is not just about having the right hormone, it’s also about spending enough time in the proper phase of sleep every night.

Children also develop their brain while they sleep. If there’s not enough time spent in deep sleep the brain must decide what to put off until tomorrow night. If the deep sleep is shorter than normal, night after night, then some parts of normal brain development just don’t happen.

Based on the astounding increase in autism that has occurred in the last 20 years, it looks as though when sleep is shortened the brain leaves off normal social interaction. Autism refers to social awkwardness, an inability to recognize social cues and interactions that are very important for normal humans. Humans, like all primates,  survive best in groups and have specific behaviors that help us succeed or fail in a group. We can probably still survive without those skills but our ability to mate or interact in community will be limited without them.

We have seen a significant rise in the incidence of autism during the same years that sleep disorders have become epidemic in children. Most authors think that the sleep disorder comes from autism, I think the sleep disorder causes the autism. That means we can fix it! There is quite a bit of literature linking vitamin D deficiency to autism. Based on my patient experience the brain still remembers what it is supposed to do, we just need to give it the time in deep sleep to get it done.  Given back enough time in deep sleep and the necessary raw materials, (D and B vitamins) the brain can make up for the deep sleep that it missed and develop normal social skills even into the teens and early 20’s.

Bed-wetting is a sleep disorder:

Bed-wetting means that a child is not spending enough time in deep sleep. Anti-diuretic hormone, a hormone that limits our urine production during sleep, (so we don’t have to get up and interrupt our repair) is only released during deep sleep. Children who cannot get into or stay in deep sleep make too much urine and wet the bed. They have a combined vitamin D and intestinal microbiome problem that affects their B vitamin production.

Normal Sexual Development is linked to Sleep:

Over the last 10 years there has been a significant increase in gender dysphoria. This means feeling as though one’s “gender” does not match the sexual organs one was born with. Though babies are born with male or female genitalia the sexual development of the brain is dependent on the release of sex hormones during deep sleep every night.  Sexualizing the brain to match the genitalia is a nightly, chemical event that is followed by the pubertal changes that make us recognizably male or female. My patient experience has shown that teen boys who still have a feminine body shape, once sleeping normally, can transition to a masculine body shape even in late teens early 20’s . The reason why this is so important is that changing one’s sexual organs to the organs of the opposite sex does not correct the feelings of  “not fitting in” that are the result of not making the “happy, content” chemicals that normal sleepers make in their brain while they sleep.  Dissatisfaction with oneself is a very common result of sleeping badly and it needs to be fixed as well!