Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Benefits of Exercise for Sleep

3Is your child have difficulty sleeping at night? Try incorporating some type of physical activity into their daily routine.

According to Dr. Sonia Smith, owner and practitioner at Emerald Coast Pediatric Sleep Consultants, LLC., children should have at least one hour or more of physical activity each day.

“Exercise and sleep go hand-in-hand,” Dr. Smith said. “Exercise helps to lower the risk of obesity, speed up metabolism and increase your energy during the day. Studies have shown that people who exercise frequently report better quality sleep.”

Exercising helps to regulate the sleep and wake cycle in children by increasing the body temperature during the day and lowering the body temperature at night, resulting in a good night’s rest.

Lack of exercising can lead to obesity, which can directly impact your child’s quality of sleep. Obese children often have difficulty exercising and are at an increased risk for breathing problems during sleep.

Dr. Smith recommends children stop exercising three hours before bedtime. “Exercising right before bedtime can interfere with the body’s ability to fall asleep. Exercise increases your metabolism, which heats up the body. For good sleep, the body’s temperature needs to be cool.”

Food and Sleep: The Importance of A Balanced Diet

UntitledEating a balanced diet not only affects the way your body looks physically, it can also affect your quality of sleep. According to Dr. Sonia Smith, owner and practitioner at Emerald Coast Pediatric Sleep Consultants, LLC., what you eat during the day impacts how well you sleep at night.


“A balanced diet, consisting of three meals a day plus snacks, helps to optimize growth and development during sleep,” Dr. Smith said. “Foods that are high in fiber and protein make the stomach feel full so that you are less likely to wake up hungry during the night.”


To help improve your child’s quality of sleep, try incorporating foods such as seeds, nuts, soy beans, cheese, milk, lamb, beef, pork, turkey chicken and fish. These foods are high in tryptophan, which can positively affect your quality of sleep as it converts to melatonin, the sleep hormone.


Try to avoid foods with hidden sources of caffeine such as sodas, chocolate, many flavors of ice cream, energy waters, iced tea and some pain relievers, as they can keep your child up at night. “Foods that are high in carbohydrates may satisfy your child for a short time, but will convert to sugar rather quickly,” Dr. Smith said. “This raises then lowers their blood sugar, which may leave your child hungry in the middle of the night.

Children and families can learn more about nutrition for children here.