What is included in patient education about pediatric sleep disorders?

Updated: Oct 09, 2018
  • Author: Sufen Chiu, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Because human beings spend a third of their time sleeping, it is essential to emphasize the need for good sleep hygiene to children, adolescents, and their families. Treatment of any behavioral problems generally will not not help unless sleep problems are addressed. "Catch-up sleep" is  a misconception as more studies demonstrate the long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep hygiene includes the following:

  • Keeping the room quiet, dark, and comfortable

  • Practicing a simple bedtime ritual that includes voiding

  • Limiting time spent in bed

  • Not eating or drinking heavily for about 3 hours before bedtime

  • Maintaining the bedroom for sleeping only

  • Removing distractions, such as television

  • Avoiding medications

  • Considering the effect of sleep partners (including pets)

  • Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule

  • Avoiding naps

  • Exercising regularly

  • Taking a hot bath or drinking something warm before bedtime

For patient education resources, see the Sleep Disorders Center, as well as Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias), Night Terrors, Narcolepsy, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, and Sleeplessness and Circadian Rhythm Disorder.

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