August offers that last excitement of summer for kids. You can likely relate as the popular summer activities have persisted over the decades: sleeping in, daytime sprinkler-running, ice cream before dinner, and stay-up-too-late-sleepovers.
September usually comes crashing in with strict school schedules and increased workloads for parents. The result? Tired, cranky kids.
And tired, cranky adults.
Adjusting to new sleep schedules is tough. Adolescents typically require 8-10 hours of sleep to function optimally. Adults need about the same at 7-9 hours.
One strategy that parents and kids can use to reset sleep schedules is the use of a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a neurohomone that helps regulate the sleep-wake rhythm. It can be taken orally to help re-establish that rhythm. It also appears to have antioxidant action and supports the immune system.
In general, doses for melatonin range between 1 and 5 mg and are taken...
Who’s fighting America’s childhood ADHD epidemic? Dr. Tim Culbert, one deep breath at a time.
Culbert winces and shrinks when he describes the pressures on doctors to diagnose ADHD in kids.
“A lot of characteristics we are supposed to medicate these kids for would be positives in another context: High-energy people who can shift focus easily—that can describe Albert Einstein just as easily as it can describe a kid who can’t sit through six hours of lectures in a classroom. Someone who makes frequent loose, tangential associations? You could call that person unfocused, or a good musician or marketer. Yet if you give a kid a label, you’re going to leave him thinking he’s a lousy thinker,” Culbert says, adding that people tend to give up more easily after the diagnosis has been made.
“A lot of schools say: If you can’t sit in a classroom for six hours and...
Culbert, T. (2017). Perspectives on Technology-Assisted Relaxation Approaches to Support Mind-Body Skills Practice in Children and Teens: Clinical Experience and Commentary. Children, 4, 20.
It has been well-established that a variety of mind-body (MB) techniques, including yoga, mental imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, and meditation, are effective at addressing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia, as well as helping with a wide variety of medical, emotional, and behavioral issues in pediatric populations. In addition, MB skills can also be health promoting in the long-term, and with regular practice, could potentially contribute to longer attention spans, social skills, emotional regulation, and enhanced immune system functioning. Importantly, the benefits...
Interested in mind-body therapies for adolescents? Dr. Culbert and several other practitioners discuss different modalities and their effectiveness.
You can also download the slides here.
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