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Screen Time Insomnia

TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME, TOO FEW ZZZs

“Screens, including TVs, computers, tablets, iPhones and video games, can emit a blue light that can be a strong signal to your brain that it’s daytime or wake time. If the screen is being used at night, it can send your body a signal that makes it difficult to know it’s nighttime and sleep time. That can make it harder to go to sleep and stay asleep,” says CHOC pediatric neurologist Dr. Anjalee Galion. “Teenagers have a natural tendency to go to bed late and sleep late. So, too much screen time before bed can make it more difficult for them to go to sleep and have enough sleep before waking up to the demands of an academic day.”

SETTING TIME LIMITS

Setting screentime guidelines can help parents avoid battles with their kids. “Up to two hours a day is reasonable,” says Dr. Galion. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two have limited screen time, “But we understand this can be difficult for parents when there are multiple kids at home and parents use a computer for communication. Try to work with what you have. We don’t want children spending many hours in front of the screen instead of doing other healthy activities for their body and brain.”

TIPS TO HELP KIDS SLEEP WELL

  • Have your children maintain regular sleep and wake times daily. “Shifting your schedules for weekdays and weekends makes it hard to get back on a rhythm for school days,” says Dr. Galion.
  • Engage the kids in some physical activity or exercise between 4-6 p.m.
  • No caffeinated beverages after 3p.m.
  • Keep the bedroom calm and quiet. “Having a bedroom that is quiet and dark and is used mainly for sleeping can help your brain associate it with sleeping,” says Dr. Galion.
  • Have the kids avoid electronics or stimulating activities at least two AMOUNT hours before bedtime.

Meet Dr. Anjalee Galion - CHOC Pediatric Neurologist

Dr. Galion is the assistant program director of the Child Neurology Training Program, a joint program between CHOC and UC Irvine. She is a nationally recognized expert in pediatric sleep disorders and is researching ways to improve sleep in children with autism. Dr. Galion completed her pediatric residency training at the University of California San Francisco, Fresno program. She completed her pediatric neurology fellowship at UC Irvine and served a fellowship in sleep medicine at the UCLA/Cedars Sinai Medical Center Program in Los Angeles.

Dr. Galion’s philosophy of care: “I am passionate about helping children sleep well because this can improve the quality of life for everyone in the family and really help the developing brain.”

EDUCATION:
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School

BOARD CERTIFICATIONS:
Child Neurology

DrAnjaleeGalion

Dr. Anjalee Galion
CHOC Neurologist

Kick Off the New School Year with Healthy Sleep Habits

Bedtime troubles are very common at some point in most children’s lives. This often disrupts the household, and it prevents a child from getting the amount of sleep they need. This can also affect a child’s performance at school.

Just in time for back to school, check out the guidelines to help establish good sleep habits for your children.

Young boy sitting at desk in a classroom

CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Sleep Center

Hallway at CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital

Families in South Orange County now have access to a state-of-the-art Sleep Center for children who need overnight monitoring to diagnose problems related to sleep. The new three-room unit at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital offers private, comfortable accommodations and the latest technology for routine polysomnograms (sleep studies). CHOC already performs more than 750 sleep studies a year at its three-bed Sleep Disorder Center in Orange.

Is Your Child Ready For A Sleepover?

Summertime sleepovers are a cherished rite of childhood. Those invitations may start arriving as early as kindergarten or first grade. Marni Nagel, Ph.D., a CHOC licensed pediatric psychologist, says some young children as young as ages 5 and 6 may be ready for them. Others may be more comfortable waiting until ages 7, 8, 9 or even 10 years of age.

You know your child best. “If your child has trouble sleeping through the night, is prone to nightmares, or has trouble adapting to unfamiliar situations, you may want to wait a bit,” Dr. Nagel says. “Also, you’ll want to be sure your child is capable of basic self-care skills, such as putting on pajamas, brushing the teeth and getting dressed the next morning.”

Mom with arms around her two daughters

Knowledge is the best medicine. Learn more about your child's health in these features from the experts at CHOC.

Identifying Child Abuse
“If a baby isn’t cruising, crawling or getting around, a bruise would be worrisome unless there is an explanation,” says CHOC pediatrician and child abuse expert Dr. Wong. Another sign of abuse may be bruises in unusual places, like the abdomen or buttocks, she says.


Current Diet Trends & Kids
“A vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, fish, seafood and shellfish but includes eggs and dairy products. “It can be really healthy for children and teens. Vegetarian diets include a lot of healthy foods like fruit, veggies, whole grains and protein-rich foods like eggs, tofu, and dairy products.


Identifying Hernias
“Parents will typically notice a bulge in the groin or abdominal wall, where there shouldn’t be one,” says CHOC pediatric surgeon Dr. Reyna. This may be a hernia, and if so, it’s caused by tissue that is protruding through a hole in the musculature.


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