Catch-up sleep and why your tween needs it

Watch Video: Catch-up sleep and why your tween needs it by Cara Natterson, MD, ...
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Catch-up sleep and why your tween needs it

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As kids get older, especially in the later part of the tween years and into the teen years, kids can really have trouble falling asleep. They still need the sleep. In fact, they really need a minimum of ten hours a night. But they'll get into bed and they'll lay in bed and their eyes are wide open and they cannot go to bed. And one of the reasons why is that they're thinking about everything that's gone on during the day, so they're having trouble turning their brain off. But another reason why is that they've had a shift in hormone melatonin, and melatonin has a lot to do with when we feel sleepy. So if the levels of melatonin are shifting, then kids will not feel as tired as they did when they were younger. And that's what happens; by adolescence, we know that kids are up until 11/11:30 at night. They're just wired to be up and they want to sleep in later in the morning. The best advice I can give you is that during the week, this isn't going to work so well. You've got to get your kid out of bed and get them to school. But on the weekends, if there's a morning where your child can sleep in, let them. It's called catch-up sleep. Let them have that restorative sleep and if they go till 10, 11, noon, it's okay. Every once in a while, letting their body catch-up will really help them feel better.

Watch Video: Catch-up sleep and why your tween needs it by Cara Natterson, MD, ...

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Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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