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Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens (cont.)

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What are some "don'ts" for getting my child or teen to sleep?

These "don'ts" are adapted from "Sleep Problems: Your Child" University of Michigan Health Care System.

  1. Don't put your child to bed with a bottle of juice, milk or formula. Sugar in such drinks promotes tooth decay. Water is acceptable.
  2. Don't fill up the bed with toys. Limit the crib/bed to one to two "special" items. Too many items are over stimulating and the child will have a hard time not playing with them. Eliminate any object that might be a safety hazard.
  3. Don't threaten to send your child to bed as a punishment. Bedtime should be an enjoyable experience that will promote falling asleep in a timely fashion.
  4. Avoid caffeine before bed: Caffeinated drinks such as cola, chocolate, iced tea, energy drinks, etc.
  5. Limit TV in the afternoon and at night. TV stimulation may carry on longer than you suspect. Having a TV in a child's room may be counterproductive to getting your child or teen to sleep. A 2014 National Sleep Foundation study indicates that 72% of children 6 years old to 17 years old have at least one electronic device in their bedroom. These children may get up to one hour less sleep per night as their peers without such devices in the bedroom.

Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, M.D.; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine


"Teens Not Getting Enough Zzzz’s." American Academy of Pediatrics. Updated Feb. 2, 2015.

"Pediatric Sleep Disorders." Medscape. Updated Apr. 11, 2014.

National Sleep Foundation.

Nguyen, Thien T., MD, PhD. "Nonepileptic paroxysmal disorders in adolescents and adults." UpToDate. Updated Sep. 14, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2016


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