Caffeine Concerns – Children and Sleep
Caffeine is a popular stimulant widely consumed by adults who use it after waking up in the morning or to remain alert during the day. But researchers are finding that children are also consuming caffeine daily through caffeinated beverages. In a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers reported that 75% of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.
The study's authors collected data from the parents of over 200 children 5 to 12 years old during routine clinical visits at an urban pediatric clinic. Parents were asked to report the types and amounts of snacks and beverages their child consumed on a daily basis. The study found that children aged 5 to 7 years old consumed approximately 52 mg of caffeine per day, and children aged 8 to 12 years old consumed approximately 109 mg.
Dr. William Warzak and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that "...some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the [caffeine] equivalent of a can of soda a day."
Managing caffeine intake is important to sleep duration. Dr. Warzak advised, "Parents should be aware of the potentially negative influence of caffeine on a child's sleep quality and daily functioning."
Learn more about caffeine and sleep.