Ug.

Jun. 23rd, 2011 06:03 am
velvetpage: (Default)
I slept poorly, got up to early, and am generally achey. Between the long day yesterday and my dad visiting in the evening, I just couldn't seem to relax.

And it's going to be another long day, so I'd better get started.
velvetpage: (Default)
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200804115

The link is to a radio program about the connections between sleep deprivation and various behavioural disorders, including ADHD. I have no problem believing that there's a connection, and that in some cases, it's a causal connection; that is, the lack of sleep is causing the symptoms that are diagnosed as ADHD. I have at least one student right now who is not diagnosed ADHD, but definitely exhibits many of the behaviours associated with it. The student has access to three different video game systems in his bedroom, and plays them until all hours of the night. I know this because he comes to school the next day boasting about how late he stayed up. I'd be surprised if he's getting five hours of sleep a night on average, and according to standard pediatric wisdom, he needs about double that. Meanwhile, he's a smart kid who should be getting B's and instead is getting C's and D's. Furthermore, I've never known an ADHD student who slept well.

Now, for my questions: I would like to see a study done on a wide variety of kids, some of them with ADHD diagnoses already in place, to find out if the sleep deprivation is causal or not; I'd like to know if there may be times when ADHD is causing the sleep deprivation rather than the other way around, and how much of that is due to environmental factors (such as the presence of video games or TVs in a child's bedroom.) I know plenty of parents - indeed, I am one - who have trouble getting their kids into a sleep pattern that would fit the bill for "enough sleep," according to prevailing wisdom: that is, eleven to twelve hours for a child under five, ten to eleven hours for a child five to nine, and nine to ten hours from then until the late teens, when most kids will start to settle into an adult sleep pattern of seven to eight hours a night. Is establishing a sleep pattern early in life essential to our children's long-term mental and physical health? At what point do we seek medical help to get them to sleep more - assuming they're exhibiting symptoms of sleep deprivation?

I predict that this series of studies will revolutionize not just the treatment of ADHD and other chronic childhood disorders, but also parenting books. Until now, a lot of sleep problems have been met with: "Give it time, and it will likely sort itself out. If you're not willing to wait it out, try this." I'm wondering if that advice is going to change to: "If your child doesn't have a good sleep pattern by X date in their development, they are at substantially increased risk for X, Y, and Z disorders. Here are some suggestions that parents REALLY NEED TO FOLLOW to prevent that." (For the record, this research has been building up over the last five or ten years, which is not very long in medical terms; a lot of it has been driven by adults diagnosed with ADHD as children, who come in for sleep studies. When a sleep disorder is diagnosed, the adults often find that their ADHD symptoms clear up.)

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] catsarah for the link.
velvetpage: (snuggles)
And it affects them more in children than we previously thought.

My school is a first-run school, starting at 8:15 in the morning. I wonder if starting later would have an effect on the kids' learning?

I think, also, I need to be strict about bedtimes with my girls until they're preteens at least. Having them go to bed between seven-thirty and eight gets them about eleven hours of sleep, which seems about right for the moment. (Claire has a nap, too.)

Much better

Jan. 8th, 2007 07:50 am
velvetpage: (Default)
Last night, it took her less than fifteen minutes to fall asleep. It would have been less, if she'd laid down before dropping off. Instead, she fell asleep sitting up, and flopped over, with the result that she was bent totally in half. So I fixed her - and she woke up and cried for two more minutes. Meanwhile, I sat on my bed and did the first three rounds of a baby hat.

There was an hour-long stint around midnight. Those ones are harder, actually, because it's easy to drift off if the crying is medium- or low-intensity, and lose track of what's happening. At five o'clock, I nursed her, and she was asleep in about five minutes.

In other baby news, we think we may have a first word. We're not really sure, because "aadaa" is such a common sound, but in addition to the random usage, she says it consistently at the end of a meal, with the same intonation I use for "all done." Normal development has babies saying a first word that is recognizable as such sometime after eight months, so this is a bit too early to be sure. But I'm paying attention now.
velvetpage: (OMG)
That's Claire's comment on the morning. She's sitting on the floor near me, playing with her peek-a-boo blocks, smiling, content with the world. Mommy's typing, she's eating blocks - what's not to love?

I'll tell you what's not to love.

IT'S FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE FRIGGIN' MORNING, AND YOU'VE BEEN UP FOR AN HOUR, YOU EXASPERATING CHILD!

Today is Elizabeth's day at home. She went to bed about fifteen minutes early last night. I would not be surprised if she were up at seven. Claire will hopefully go down again before six, and when she does she'll probably sleep until eight. That won't help me, though. I'm doomed to be exhausted all day long.

She woke up around one, stayed up long enough to get a very complete meal, and then went back to sleep until four. That's not a bad night, really, considering recent trends. But I'm going to go totally mad if this is the new pattern. She had a good meal within the last hour. Now I'm just hoping the peek-a-boo blocks will tire her out a bit so she'll go back to sleep around the time Piet leaves for work. There's a half-decent chance we can all sleep in if she does that, and if Elizabeth cooperates.
velvetpage: (smile)
I think most parents would identify very strongly with Oliver Twist if the first song referred to sleep instead of food.

Claire slept through with only one waking - around midnight, for about half an hour. I woke up before she did, and started thinking, hmm, this is strange - I know it's past three, what's she up to? So i glanced at the clock and discovered it was five-thirty and Piet's alarm was about to go off. Sweet, sweet sleep.

Claire has now gone back to bed. I had a shower, and dug through some bins to find a bunch of twelve-month size clothing (she's too long for her six month stuff, she doesn't have much in nine-month, and I have a funny feeling all the twelve-month stuff will be too big at the waist. At least there are overalls and leggings/sweater sets in there - those should fit.) I'm resisting the need to wake them up and get the day started - eating my breakfast, drinking my tea, and blogging, while awake and alone, is too rare an experience to be quickly put to an end like that.

I hear a little girl. And so the day begins.

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