Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Keep Bed for Sleeping, Not for TV, Work, Games

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Keep Bed for Sleeping, Not for TV, Work, Games

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: My 6-year-old son just can't seem to fall asleep at night. He doesn't fuss -- he just doesn't get enough sleep. Is there anything I can do?

Dear Reader: The pediatricians at Harvard Medical School who specialize in sleep problems tell me that correcting a handful of things can cure the problem in most kids:

- Stop your son's caffeine intake at least eight hours prior to bedtime. Not a lot of 8-year-olds drink coffee or tea, but there's plenty of caffeine in cola beverages or in chocolate, for example.

- Reduce your son's exposure to bright light starting two hours before bedtime. Dimmer light helps the brain prepare for sleep.

- Remove video games, media players, cellphones, computers and TVs from your son's bedroom. Pretty obvious advice, I know, but you'd be surprised how often it's not followed. …

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