Childhood Sleep Challenges

Children and Sleep

“Jeremy’s not a morning person” is not a personality type, it’s a sleep disorder!

If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning then you won’t think anything about it when one of your children also has a hard time getting up. Being tired in the morning might be  ”normal’ for your family,  but, what I learned from doing lots of sleep studies in kids was that Jeremy’s “not a morning person”, sleep study didn’t have the right amount deep sleep. Deep sleep is is the sleep phase where we grow and learn and develop. Your child can sleep through the night and still not get enough deep sleep to feel rested in the morning.  Less deep sleep than normal can lead to all sorts of problems.

Morning fatigue is the most common sleep disorder in children, and it’s related to our modern, indoor life. We’ve been told to use sunscreen excessively and not to let the sun touch our child’s skin. But the low vitamin D levels that result are bad for sleep. Low vitamin D and the accompanying abnormal intestinal bacteria  are two things that make us unable to sleep normally in order to restore our body every night. Every morning when you’re trying to wake him, Jeremy’s brain is saying “no…. Jeremy stay in bed, I’m not finished” he hasn’t had time to complete the projects the brain needed to do during the night.  When our children are tired in the morning they have trouble learning during the day. When they have less time spent in deep sleep the development of their brain and body are delayed, and certain important parts of development, like socialization, may not happen properly.

Vitamin D, Microbiome and Sleep

Fixing this problem is not that difficult. See the RightSleep videos for Children included in the RightSleep Program. Using RightSleep®  to get the vitamin D level into the ideal sleep range, in combination with B50 ( B25 for kids 2-12 yrs.) brings the intestinal bacteria back to normal in only three months. Keeping vitamin D in the ideal sleep range enables your child to complete all the work of deep sleep in 8 hours instead of 12. Supplying the right amount of vitamin D also keeps the belly bacteria happy. they play a role in keeping the sleep normal too. These two steps help supply the brain with the chemicals it needs to be able to complete all the tasks necessary for Jeremy to learn, be happy and wake every morning ready to be silly and have fun.

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 those two phases!

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.

Autism and Sleep

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 brain development get postponed or delayed.

Based on the astounding increase in autism that has occurred in the last 20 years, it appears that when sleep is shortened the brain has to triage what gets done and it may put off some parts of development. Autism refers to social awkwardness, an inability to recognize social cues and interactions that are very important for humans. Humans, like all primates,  survive best in groups and have specific behaviors that help us succeed 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.

There has been 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 with autism, I think the sleep disorder produces “autism”. If that is true we might be able to improve autistic features by improving sleep! 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 more time in deep sleep to get it done.  It is my belief that given enough time in deep sleep and the necessary raw materials, 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.

Childhood Insomnia

Children who can’t fall asleep or stay asleep have a severe sleep disorder and inevitably develop either physical or psychological illness due to this lack of deep sleep. Normal children (1-9 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 better sleep every night.

Insomnia in Teens

We blame our teenagers for their own sleep disorder because we’ve been told that it’s due to using their electronic devices. After puberty, the kid who was tired every morning in childhood, becomes a teen that can’t fall asleep. They can’t fall asleep so they 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 see the videos RightSleep for Children and learn how to get your teenager sleeping normally.

Anxiety and Depression in Children

Anxiety and depression are very common in children. They are both related to sleep. All of us who have experienced a few nights of bad sleep know that our emotional state, our level of patience and our ability to think clearly are all related to how well we’ve slept.  Normalize your child’s sleep using RightSleep® and you can slowly improve these emotional issues without drugs.