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Toddler Sleep Issues Could Lead to Childhood Obesity – Calls for Natural Sleep Aids as Solution


QUEENSLAND, Australia January 2014 – As if putting toddlers to sleep wasn’t already difficult enough for parents, now new research shows that there’s an additional pressure that makes getting toddlers into a steady sleeping routing even more important. A study by Chantelle N. Hart, researcher at the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, has linked the lack of sleep to childhood obesity.

The study, published online in Paediatrics in January 2013, found children who have increased sleep hours ate an average of 134 fewer calories and lost 230 grams during the week of increased sleep. Lower levels of Leptin, a hormone produced in fatty tissue which is believed to regulate body fat storage, were also exhibited by these children when they slept the recommended 10-11 hours of sleep for school age children.

Another study from Dr. Barclays found that reduced sleep increases the risk for obesity in children, and a correlation between less sleep and variable sleep patterns can be associated with adverse metabolic outcomes.

“This is just another reminder of how incredibly important it is for us parents to make sure our children get the right amount of sleep each night. It’s important for their growth, for their moods and behaviours, for their sense of security and now it might even be important for their weight,” says Deb Herdman, a nurse, mother of three and the founder of Nigh’ Nigh’ Sleepy Head, an organisation which produces products to help address toddlers’ sleep issues, including sleep music for kids.

Deb recommends parents have a bedtime routine – a set number and order of tasks that stay the same each night leading up to bedtime. For example, the children might have to stop watching TV or playing computer games an hour before bed, and that’s when they get their pyjamas on, have a cup of milk, brush their teeth, get into bed with their teddy bear and listen to something calming such as the Nigh’ Nigh’ Sleepy Head Lullaby CD composed and produced by Deb herself to calm her youngest child.

Deb created the sleep music for kids by accident. Her piano teacher encouraged her to compose an original composition and since she was having difficulty getting her toddler aged son to sleep, she composed a lullaby that actually acted as a natural sleeping aid. She was so excited at how effective her music was in getting her son to sleep, she knew she had to share this with other parents. She’s since spent time developing other ways to make the pre-sleep routine fun such as creating a teddy called Sleepy Head Ted, and pyjamas so the children can have the same outfit as their teddy!

To find out more about how a pre-sleep routine can help with toddlers sleep issues, visit


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