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Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
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Active Kids, Healthy Kids
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Beat the Heat!
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Exercise is Medicine
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FITT Prescription
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From Surviving to Thriving
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Get Motivated
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Jump Start Weight Loss
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Live Actively
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Prehistoric Workout
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7 Wonders of Walking
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Chronic Diseases in Teens
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Junior High
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A Woman's Physical
Your First Job
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Ask the Doctor
Aspirin Every Day?
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Cost of Doctor's Visit
Does My Sore Knee Require an MRI?
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My Doctor Says I Need a Test
My Doctor Diagnosed Osteoarthritis
Restore Your Core
Should I Exercise During pregnancy?
Vaccination Controversies
Childbirth
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
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Birthing Procedure Trends
Bleeding in Pregnancy
Breastfeeding Benefits
Caesarean Section by Request
Care for the New Mother
Cord Blood Banking
Delaying Motherhood
Blue after Baby or Postpartum Depression
Diabetes in Pregnancy
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Evolving Ideas about Pregnancy and Birth
Flying During Pregnancy
Folic Acid in Pregnancy
High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
Induction of Labour
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Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
In-Vitro Fertilization
Low Birth Weight Babies
Medication and Pregnancy
Miscarriage
Managing Your Own Labour
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Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
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Prenatal Classes
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Planning a Pregnancy
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Postpartum Repetitive Strain Injuries
RH Disease
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Sex During Pregnancy
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Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
Travelling While Pregnant
Ultrasound for Fun and Photos
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Pregnancy Weight Gain
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Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
When Baby Comes Home
Childhood
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Not Just Baby Fat
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Safe Summer Fun
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When to go to the Doctor
Whooping Cough
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Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
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Opioids
Pacing
Pain Medications
Prevention
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
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Children's Dental Injuries
Choosing a Dentist
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A Healthy Mouth
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Root Canal
Seniors Oral Care
Sensitive Teeth
The Smile You Want
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Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
Tongue Piercing
Tooth Whitening
Travel Dentistry
Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
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10,000 Steps
A1C Test
11 Steps to Accurate Blood Glucose Testing
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating Mindfully
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Diabetic Retinopathy
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization and Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
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Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Insurance
Ketones
Keep Cholesterol in Check
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Mental Health and Diabetes
Metformin
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media and Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Walking
Wise Choices About Natural Medicines
Wonderful Water
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
Full Listing with story descriptions
ADHD in Children
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Allergies
Antibiotic Use
Arthritis
Aspirin Every Day?
Asthma
Back Pain
Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
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Check-Up
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Family Doctor
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Food Poisoning
5 Ways to Stay Healthy
Gallbladder
Get Active!
Glare
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Healthcare Teams
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Human Papilloma Virus
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How to Talk to Your Doctor
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Medical Digital Technology
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Primary Healthcare Reform
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Stroke
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Win by Losing
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Full Listing with story descriptions
Bites and Stings
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First Aid Travel Kit
Hypothermia and Frostbite
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Growing Older
Full Listing with story descriptions
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Can I see Well Enough to Drive?
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Get Active!
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Have Health, Will Travel
Health Tips for Seniors
Hearing
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Living Longer With Diabetes
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Maintaining Quality of Life as You Age
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Travel Tips for Snowbirds
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Modern Living
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Abuse
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Adult ADHD
Aging and Memory
Alcohol and Your Health
Anger Management
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Barbecue Basics
Bathtub Safety
Binge Drinking
Bisphenol A
Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computer Stress
Coping With Change
Cosmetic Surgery
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Depression
Diabetes Epidemic
Discipline
Diseases from Pets
Downsizing
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Erectile Dysfunction New Treatments
Exotic Travel
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
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Healing Through Music
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Mature Student
Melamine in Food
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Mind-Body Connection
Mom Time
Money Matters
Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
Planning for End of LIfe
Reproductive Freedom
Safe Drinking Water
Schizophrenia
Smokeless Tobacco
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Soy
Stigma of Mental Illness
Street Drugs
Stressed or Depressed?
Stress in the Workplace
Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
Sunburn
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Time Management
Travel Health Protection
Travel Comfort Tips
Travel Immunization
Understanding Change
Unplugging
Whiplash
Wind Chill Index
Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace Health
Nutrition
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Myths about Nutrition and Diabetes
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Breakfast is Important
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter and Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits and Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
Fat Phobias
Fats and Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Fibre
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Iron
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Meal Planning for Busy Families
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits and Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Probiotics
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
Sodium
Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
Sugar Substitutes
Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
Tips for a SuperDiet
Understanding Food Biotechnology
Vacation Eating
Vitamins D
Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian Diet
Weight Loss Wisdom
Weight Loss
Weight Wise Tips
Pharmacy Care
Full Listing with story descriptions
After a Heart Attack
Adverse Drug Reactions
Adult Vaccinations
Allergy Attack
Antibiotic Overuse
New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
Arthritis Medications
Biologics
Biological Response Modifiers
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood Thinners
Calcium and Iron Supplements
Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
Choosing Sunscreens
Cold Relief
Cold Sores
Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
Drug Interactions
Emergency Contraception
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Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
Feminine Hygiene
Generic or Name Brand?
Heartburn
Heart Health
Insomnia
Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
Metabolic Syndrome
Natural Medicines
New Blood Thinners
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Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
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Pharmaceutical Studies
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Research Studies
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Take as Directed
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Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
Prevention
Full Listing with story descriptions
Accident Prevention
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Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bedbugs
Disaster Planning
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Caffeine
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
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Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Distracted Driving
E-cigarettes
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
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Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
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Should You Immunize?
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15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Anemia
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Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
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Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
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Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
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The IUD
Menopause - What Men Should Know
Menopause and Your Moods
Menstrual Bleeding - Abnormal
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Menopause
Menstruation Myths
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Third Generation Birth Control Pills
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Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
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Family Health Magazine - CHILDHOOD

Winning the Bedtime Battle
Healthy sleep habits for children

Life is so busy that it can be hard to make sure children get the sleep they need. For some families, bedtime is a real battle. Although quality sleep is important for all of us, it is critical for your child’s developing brain. Attention span, behavior, learning and memory all improve with adequate sleep. In contrast, too little sleep increases the risk of accident and injury, as well as high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes. For older children and teens, lack of sleep is thought to contribute to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

As a parent, your first step in ensuring a good night’s rest is figuring how much sleep your child really needs. As each child is unique, a range of times are suggested (see table on opposite page). Remember, children who get too little sleep do not necessarily seem sleepy during the day. In fact, they may be more hyperactive or inattentive. When you find that your child is happier, calmer and handling daily stressors more easily, you’ve likely achieved the right number of hours.

Once you know how much sleep your child needs, it is now time to figure out how your child can get that amount. Bedtime resistance is common. Setting up a bedtime routine, and sticking with it as much as possible, is key at any age. A predictable routine is calming, and helps to avoid chaos and feeling rushed.

Training toddlers and pre-schoolers (two to five)

With young children, parents often base bedtimes on the family schedule. For instance, children who must get up early to attend day care should go to bed earlier. If your child wakes up at 6:30 a.m. and needs 10 hours of sleep, lights should go out at 8:30 p.m. or earlier. Start your routine 30 to 60 minutes before you want your child to fall asleep.

Your particular routine may include a bath, teeth brushing, and a story. Keep bedtime activities calming, predictable, and consistent. Repeat the same activities at the same time every night. Your child’s brain will begin to associate those activities with sleep, and slow down automatically.
Think about your child’s bedroom environment. As much as possible, keep the room quiet, cool and dark. Some children are very sensitive to light. Investing in good black-out curtains can really make a difference.

If your child shares a room, try including the other child in the routine. Ask an older sibling who has a different bedtime to be very quiet when entering or leaving. If having your baby in the same room disturbs your preschooler’s sleep, consider moving the crib to your room instead.

Bedtime should not include screens such as TVs, computers or tablets. Flickering lights and sound stimulate the brain rather than soothe it. For this reason, screens do not belong in the bedroom.

What’s happening in the rest of the house as your child tries to sleep? Interesting noises, such as a family conversation, a funny TV show or loud music, can be irresistible. Although the house does not need to be completely silent, try to keep loud noises (the dog barking) or compelling noises (the hockey game!) to a minimum.

Despite your best efforts, your child may still have difficulty sleeping. It is common for children of this age not to want to fall asleep alone. Many of us have tried lying down to soothe and encourage children to sleep. Soon, you are fast asleep while your child remains awake!

It is not necessarily wrong to lie beside your child for a few moments at the end of the bedtime routine. However, children need to develop the ability to fall asleep alone. Try using a nightlight or a special stuffy as a substitute. As your child works on this new skill, you can check in occasionally to say that everything is all right.

Often children get out of bed once the lights are off, or in the middle of the night. While also common, this can be very frustrating for parents. Avoid overreacting. Getting angry or loud only makes matters worse as it has a waking effect on the brain. Promptly and gently put your child back in bed. Provide reassurance that everything is fine, and leave the room. You may need to repeat the same action many times for a few days. Once children realize they will not be allowed to stay up longer or sleep with parents, they get the hang of staying in their own beds.

Years Hours of sleep required in 24 hours
1 to 2 years 11 to 14 hours (naps included)
3 to 5 years 10 to 13 hours (naps included)
6 to 12 years 9 to 12 hours
13 to 18 years 8 to 10 hours
(American Academy of Pediatrics)

Tips for school-aged children (six to 11)

Although the times may shift, school-aged children still need an effective bedtime routine. If you didn’t establish one in early childhood, don’t despair – it is not too late. Use the same strategies recommended for younger children, and review the sleeping environment.

At this age, sports or other stimulating activities in the evening often make it hard for children to fall asleep. Allow enough wind-down time before bed. Too little activity during the day can also result in poor sleep. Make sure your child gets at least one hour of active play or exercise every day.
Even with a great schedule and routine, children can have difficulty falling or staying asleep. They may find themselves staring at the ceiling for an hour or more, or wake in the night unable to get back to sleep. Soft music, soothing sounds like seascapes, stretching, meditation, or reading a book can help calm the busy brain. Again, avoid screens of any kind.

Teenagers need sleep too (12+)

Children in this age group often do not value sleep or make it a priority, which can become a major challenge. As with younger children, extracurricular activities like sports and arts can encroach on sleep time. Heavier loads of homework, studying for exams, part-time jobs, and a growing social life keep teens busy. All of these activities are often scheduled late into the evening or very early in the morning. Your child may not get home until 10 p.m. yet return to school for a 7 a.m. activity. It becomes impossible to get eight let alone 10 hours of sleep.

However, demanding schedules make quality sleep even more important. Possible solutions include naps after school, more rest on weekends, and perhaps limiting evening activities. Make sure your child is not stretched too thin. It helps to avoid pop, energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks as much as possible.

Electronics like laptops, phones, iPads and games make it even more difficult for teens to get to sleep. Many adolescents go to bed with electronics by their side. They use them right up until the moment they finally turn the lights off (and beyond!). Instead of sleeping, they are chatting with friends, checking social media, playing video games or watching shows. These activities are stimulating, and make it even harder to fall asleep once teens finally do decide it is time to turn everything off.

The best strategy is to avoid all screens starting one hour before sleep time. Enforce this habit early with pre-teens, while it is still relatively easy to control their activities. It is much easier than trying to impose this rule once they are 13, 14 or older. Although your child may object, be firm about screen time. Setting expectations and being consistent are just as important at this age as they were when your child was four years old.

When simple tips are not enough

Even with your best efforts, your child may not get enough quality sleep. In this case, talk to your family doctor. Certain medical conditions can affect your child’s sleep. For instance, snoring or mouth breathing may signal obstructive sleep apnea, or periodic limb movement disorder could wake your child from sleep. Over-the-counter or prescription medication can affect sleep. Psychological issues, including worry or sadness, can also cause sleep issues.

While getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging, it is worth the effort. Good sleep habits make an enormous difference to your child and your family health.

FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2018, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 0S1    [CH_FHcd17]
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