Caffeine Concerns–Children and Sleep

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December 21, 2010

Caffeine, Children and Sleep

Caffeine is a popular stimulant used by adults to help them wake up in the morning and stay alert during the day. Although mostly used by adults, researchers are finding that children are also getting a daily dose of caffeine through different beverages.

In a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics , it is reported that 75 percent of children surveyed consumed caffeine daily. It is also reported that the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.

The researches collected data from the parents of over 200 children between the ages of five-years-old and 12-years-old. The data was gathered during routine clinical visits at an urban pediatric clinic. The parents were asked to report the types of snacks and beverages the children consumed daily and how much they consumed.

The study found that children from five-to-seven-years-old consumed approximately 52 mg of caffeine a day. Children from eight-to-12-years-old were reported to have consumed approximately 109 mg. “Some children as young as five-years-old were consuming the [caffeine] equivalent of a can of soda a day,” reported Dr. William Warzak and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Managing caffeine intake is important to sleep duration. Dr. Warzak advised that parents should be aware of the affects caffeine could have on a child’s sleep quality and daily activities.