Join Live Chat on Children, Teens & Sleep March 29

The sleeping habits of children and teens will be the topic of a live chat at 12 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, March 29. The hour-long health chat will be hosted Chicago Tribune health reporter Deborah Shelton and can be accessed online at www.ChicagoTribune.com/health.

Participating in the live panel discussion will be Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, and Dr. Stephen Sheldon, Director of the Sleep Medicine Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Questions for the panel can be emailed to dshelton@tribune.com prior to the event. If you’re unable to tune in, a transcript will be available online following the event

Children and teens aren’t getting enough sleep and it’s affecting their health (see our previous post). Studies have linked childhood sleep loss to serious chronic health problems that can follow children into adulthood, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.

While most parents know that lack of sleep makes their child cranky the next day, studies show that sleep loss also delays a child’s reaction time and impairs memory function. If your child or teen is having trouble keeping up at school or seems unusually accident-prone, inadequate sleep could be at the root of the problem or at least be a contributing factor. Next Tuesday’s live health chat on children’s sleep habits will give parents an opportunity to find out more about the role sleep plays in their children’s health.

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