Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Night waking infants

July 4, 2008

Up until about six months of age infants often awaken during the night. Some children seem to train themselves to wake up in order to received parental attention. Because sleep problems can be major stresses for parents they may seek help from their pediatrician.
A recent study indicates that if the parent is in the child’s presence when the child goes to sleep he is twice as likely to wake up during the night as a child who is left to go to sleep on his own. (Pediatrics 87(4)500-504, April 1991) Some authorities on sleep problems in children say that children must learn to put themselves to sleep just as they learn to crawl, walk, feed themselves and tie their shoes. They suggest that the infant be placed in his bed while drowsy, but not completely asleep. Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin


Sleep problems in children

July 4, 2008

Night waking is a frequent occurrence in infants and young children, and may cause the parents to lose considerable sleep. A recent study from the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine indicates that children whose parents do not remain at the bedside while the child goes to sleep, or spend a lot of time with the child when he wakes at night learn more quickly to go back to sleep on their own. The researchers suggest that infants be put to bed before they are entirely asleep, training them to go on to sleep without their parents. (Pediatrics 87(4)500-504, April 1991)

Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin

St John’s wort

July 4, 2008

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) has traditionally been used in the treatment of mild depression, but we do not yet understand how it works.

St. John’s wort compares favorably with light therapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Hypericum, an extract from St. John’s wort is known to increase deep sleep.

Hyperforin, another extract, has recently been shown effective in the treatment of depression. (Pharmacopsychiatry 33(2)60-5, March 2000)

Copyright 2000 Phylis A Austin

Sleep deprivation and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

July 4, 2007

Keeping women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) awake all one night was effective in improving their symptoms. Even reducing the amount of sleep was helpful, particularly if the patient went to bed early in the evening and arose early in the morning. In the study patients instructed to sleep from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. had greater improvement than those who sleep from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. (American Journal of Psychiatry 144(6)808-810, June 1987.

Comment: Early to bed, early to rise!

Copyright 1987 Phylis A Austin