Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Features

January 2, 2014

Sleepy tots

Body clock may be to blame when tots fight sleep

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Just one more story, please?" ''I need a glass of water." ''Mom, I can't sleep!"

When youngsters continually struggle to fall asleep at night, new research suggests maybe their body clock doesn't match their bedtime.

That doesn't mean tots should be up at all hours.

"Just like nutrition and exercise, sleep is critical for good health," said sleep scientist Monique LeBourgeois of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who is leading the research.

The ultimate goal is to help reset a delayed sleep clock so that young children can settle down more easily, she said. Hint: It seems to have a lot to do with light.

We all have what's called a circadian rhythm, a master biological clock, that regulates when we become sleepy, and when we're more alert. Those patterns vary with age: It's the reason teenagers are notorious for late nights and difficult-to-wake mornings.

But how does that clock work in preschoolers, who need more sleep than older kids or adults? A first-of-its-kind study tracked 14 healthy youngsters for six days to begin finding out.

The children, ages 2½ to 3, wore activity monitors on their wrists to detect when they slept. Parents kept diaries about bedtime routines.

Then on the last afternoon, researchers visited each home, dimming lights and covering windows. Then, every 30 minutes for six hours leading up to the child's appointed bedtime, they also coaxed each tot to chew on some dental cotton to provide a sample of saliva.

The reason: To test for levels of a hormone named melatonin that is key to the sleep cycle and also sensitive to light. At some point every evening, people's melatonin levels surge and a while later, they begin to feel sleepy. Among adults who sleep well, that melatonin rise tends to happen about two hours before whatever is their chosen bedtime.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Homes-White Paint-6 [Duplicate] Different shades of white NEW YORK (AP) — So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from. Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hue

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mom worries about son who set fire to mouse Q: My 18-year-old son and a slightly younger friend recently found some mice and decided to dispose of them. They drowned one and set the other one on fire. When I confronted my son for torturing animals, his response was "They're just mice."

    April 17, 2014

  • Dress Coded [Duplicate] Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Fewer pro athletes missing birth of children Tony Perez was on the road with the Cincinnati Reds in 1966 when he got the call that his first child was on the way. There was no discussion about leaving the team to attend Victor's birth, no such thing as paternity leave. "They didn't give you any

    April 16, 2014

  • Exchange Be The Match [Duplicate] Be the match JEFFERSONVILLE (AP) — When Phil Meeks went to the doctor for shortness of breath and a burning in his legs, he expected nothing more than a routine diagnosis. "I was a smoker, so I thought, it's probably my smoking," said Meeks, a 47-year-old Jeffers

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Diet Food Backlash [Duplicate] Diet food backlash NEW YORK (AP) — Obsessing over calories alone has left dieters with an empty feeling. The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients. That is chipping

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amish Cook shares Reese's pudding recipe April is here, bringing us warmer temperatures. Monday was nice and warm. We hung all the laundry outside on the lines. By evening all of it was dry. How nice to be able to wash the clothes and put them away the same day. It is laundry day again tod

    April 14, 2014

  • TV Stephen Colbert [Duplicate] Colbert hosting 'Late Show' raises questions, hope NEW YORK (AP) — With the announcement that Stephen Colbert will be the new host of CBS' "Late Show," his fans likely feel a clash of emotions: — Happiness that their hero has landed a sweet promotion. — Regret that he's leaving his Comedy Central pos

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Music-Rock Hall-3 [Duplicate] Kiss not the first to tell Rock Hall to kiss off Graciousness is not always high on the list of attributes you find in successful rock 'n' roll stars. Because of this, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions have sometimes brought out the worst in its inductees, whether continuing once-private fe

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ferguson 02 A 'mutual agreement' William "Bill" Ferguson was a little nervous about his blind date in August of 1961. It was a double date to the Kokomo Speedway. His brother had invited him to join him and his girlfriend, as well as his girlfriend's cousin, who happened to be 17-ye

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller