Monday, January 12th, 2015
There is no denying that sleep is one of the most essential parts of anyone’s day, and a majority of parents have difficulty ensuring their child gets enough good sleep. But what if you could tell when and why your child is awake? And keep tabs from the comforts of your own bed?
Sleep Number has fulfilled your wish, unveiling its newest solution for children’s (and parents’) sleeping woes at the CES 2015 Trade Show: the SleepIQ Kids Bed. The smart bed monitors children’s sleep cycles and pinpoints which factors are negatively impacting them, whether it’s diet, stress, or extracurricular activities. “Almost 80 percent [of parents] say sleep impacts their child’s performance in school, and 68 percent say it affects their child’s extracurricular activities,” states the SleepIQ press release.
Here’s how the bed works: it has small hidden sensors that “uses digital-signal capture within the mattress and processing techniques to pick up on motion and pressure,” reports Mashable.com. The sensors are a no-fuss solution that eliminates wristbands and other wearable devices to monitor children’s breathing and heart rates while they’re sleeping. The bed then generates a SleepIQ Sleep Number score every morning that can be anywhere from 1 to 100—of course, the higher the score, the better your child is sleeping. Parents are also able to input details about their child’s day to establish which nights their little one is getting the best sleep. Monthly sleep progress reports are also available to assess sleeping patterns.
The SleepIQ bed even comes with an app that makes it possible for parents to remotely switch off the lights in their kid’s room once it’s bedtime. If the child gets out of bed, lights beneath the bed will begin to glow, and parents will receive an alert that he is on the move. The app even has a monster detector — parents can use it to sweep their smartphone or tablet along the bottom of the bed to make sure no monsters have crawled under.
If you’re at your wits end with bedtime battles, the SleepIQ Kids bed may be the remedy you need. But this particular sleep solution doesn’t come cheap: it starts at $1,000 (twin, full, and queen sizes are available) and won’t be sold until later this year.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: Child sleeping on a SleepIQ Kids Bed courtesy of Sleep Number
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Monday, October 8th, 2012
A new study in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology has found that teenagers in Japan who use cell phones or other mobile devices after they go to bed face a higher risk of having sleep problems and related mental health problems including depression. From Boston.com:
In the study, researchers investigated nearly 18,000 children in junior high and high schools in Japan, with subjects answering questions about their mental health, in addition to sleep and mobile phone habits. The study follows prior research that finds poor sleep is associated with mental problems in teens. For example, a study published last year in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found teens who had difficulty sleeping were at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts.
Image: Cell phone, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Sleep-training techniques that fall into the controversial “cry-it-out” category are actually effective and do not cause psychological harm if conducted in a controlled, consistent way, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found. Time.com has more:
The study looked at two sleep-training methods known as controlled comforting and camping out, both of which let babies cry it out for short amounts of time. Controlled comforting requires the parent to respond to their child’s cries at increasingly longer intervals to try to encourage the baby to settle down on her own. In camping out, the parent sits in a chair next to the child as he learns to fall asleep; slowly, over time, parents move the chair farther and farther away, until they are out of the room and the infant falls asleep alone.
While neither strategy is as extreme as letting babies cry all night by themselves, they have been criticized over concerns that they may cause long-term emotional or psychological harm in babies, interfere with their ability to manage stress or cripple their relationship with their parents.
The new study by Australian researchers involved 326 children who had parent-reported sleep problems at 7 months. Half of the babies were put in the sleep-training group, in which parents learned helpful bedtime routines as well as the controlled-comforting or camping-out technique (parents could choose which strategy they wanted to use), and half were put in a control group that did not use sleep-training. The researchers followed up with the participants and their parents five years later. (By the study’s end, about 30% of families had dropped out.)
By age 6, the researchers found no significant differences between the kids in either group in terms of emotional health, behavior or sleep problems. In fact, slightly more children in the control group had emotional or behavioral problems than in the sleep-trained group.
Researchers also found no differences in mothers’ levels of depression or anxiety, or in the strength of parent-child bonds between families who had used sleep-training and those who hadn’t.
Image: Crying baby in crib, via Shutterstock
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