75% of all children consume caffeine every day, a nutritional habit which could have a negative effect on their sleep, researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center wrote in the Journal of Pediatrics.
As background information, the investigators wrote that caffeine consumption is frequently blamed for bedwetting and sleep problems. However, data on caffeine consumption and its consequences for children is limited. A considerable number of parents do not know much caffeine their children consume, and what their effects might be.
William Warzak, Ph.D., and team interviewed English-speaking and Spanish-speaking parents of more than 200 five to twelve year-old children during their routine medical visits.
Dr. Warzak said:
- "Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day. Many children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of about three 12-ounce cans of soda per day."
Caffeine was no linked to bedwettingThe investigators were surprised to find that caffeine - a diuretic - was not associated with bedwetting among the children in their study - there was no statistically significant link.
Dr. Warzak added:
- "Given the preliminary nature of these data, until they are replicated, I will maintain my recommendation that children who wet the bed should curtail, if not abstain from caffeinated beverages, especially as bedtime approaches."
Dr. Warzak said:
- "Parents need to be more careful in monitoring what their children eat and drink," he said. "Children don't need to be drinking caffeine. If a child is having sleep difficulties, it becomes even more important for parents to be aware of caffeine intake."
"Caffeine Consumption in Young Children"
William J. Warzak, PhD, Shelby Evans, PhD, Margaret T. Floress, PhD, Amy C. Gross, PhD, Sharon Stoolman, MD
Journal of Pediatrics doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.11.022
Written by Christian Nordqvist