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
  • Pets-Prosthetic-9 [Duplicate] Pets and prosthetics LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking back legs. "It's a h

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Food Minted Chicken Wraps [Duplicate] Minted chicken wraps Fresh mint so rarely gets its due in America. We gladly pair it with chocolate and fruit, but it almost never makes appearances in savory dishes. But the rest of the world knows better, adding it with abandon to all manner of savory dairy, vegetable

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amish Cook's kids clean on spring break It's already Thursday, the deadline for me to get this column out in the mail. This week our five children are home on spring break. The boys have been cleaning out the barn and hauling manure. The girls have been helping with the spring cleaning a

    April 21, 2014

  • Wilson 01 Meant to be Lowell Wilson was mesmerized by Becky Alexander’s spunky personality from the moment she asked him to pay club dues. Becky, 17, was the treasurer of Wabash Rural Youth in 1958, and it was 22-year-old Lowell’s first meeting. He was a new agriculture t

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter assures us God is with us We sometimes ask, “Where is God at?” The Answer: God is here and there, inside and outside. God was before the beginning, is here right now and is already in the future. God knows everything and everyone. God can do everything or God can choose to d

    April 19, 2014

  • Dress Coded-6 [Duplicate] Dress coded 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, leggi

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

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