Caffeine is robbing children of sleep

Dec. 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM
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OMAHA, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Children as young as age 5 are consuming caffeine and it is robbing them of sleep, University of Nebraska Medical Center physicians say.

Dr. William Warzak and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center surveyed the parents of more than 200 children ages 5-12 during routine clinical visits at an urban pediatric clinic on the types and amounts of snacks and beverages their children consumed daily.

The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, found 75 percent of children consumed caffeine on a daily basis and the more caffeine the children ingested, the less they slept.

The study found caffeine was not linked to bedwetting in these children, even though caffeine is a diuretic, Warzak says.

"Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day," Warzak says in a statement. "Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of 109 milligrams a day, the equivalent of almost three 12-ounce cans of soda. Parents should be aware of the potentially negative influence of caffeine on a child's sleep quality and daily functioning."

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