Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Fit Factor

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Fit Factor

Article excerpt

Byline: David Fairlamb

THE number of children admitted to hospital with sleeping disorders has risen dramatically over the last six years.

A combination of rising obesity levels, excessive use of social media before bed and an increased level of mental health issues are seen as the main factors.

NHS statistics revealed nearly 10,000 under 16s visited hospital for sleep disorders last year.

This has become a big problem and a hidden health issue. Many more children seem to be suffering from anxiety (a nervous reaction to events causing excessive uneasiness and apprehension) due to school and peer pressure but much blame surely lies with social media.

This new era of social media where children seem to be glued to their phones was always going to have an impact on health at some point.

What can you do to improve your child and indeed your own sleeping patterns? A good sleep routine is key in supporting a better sleep pattern. Sleeping early evening for an hour or going to bed late and up early can completely knock your body clock.

If your body is out of routine, tiredness and feeling lethargic become the norm often at the wrong times of the day.

Diet can play a big role too. Children and adults who are consuming a lot of sugar can lead to a double negative impact : 1 Drinking energy and sugary drinks at night to stay awake. This in many cases is to keep up to date with social media or to play on video games.

2 The next day this trend often continues in order to compensate for the lack of sleep.

This double intake of sugar plus energy drinks and lack of sleep means you are more likely to be obese and score higher on several other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and poor glucose metabolism. Research shows those who sleep longer and better tend to have less fat around their waist, lower blood pressure and higher levels of good cholesterol. …

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