This Just In: September 3 - 10 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The ABZzz's of Sleep

Summary: How to get your little rascals to bed when school starts, "doctor-recommended-style." Reporter:  Dr. Maria Simbra, KDKA Channel 2   Airtime: 1 minute, 59 seconds on Aug. 26 Visuals: * Ken Rice's eyebrows. * Fully dressed kids jumping into bed to demonstrate the concept of bedtime. * Film of much "pretend" sleep, a ruse my keen maternal eyes recognize well. Highlights: * When anchor Ken Rice announces, "Some kids are already back to school, and one of the toughest things about back-to-school is getting your kids back on a regular sleep schedule after a summer of staying up late and sleeping in. Health editor Dr. Maria Simbra talked to some experts about how to do it." * When Simbra narrates, "Getting back to sleep for back-to-school: a challenge for school-age kids and their parents." * When we hear Simbra asking (because we don't see her there, or with the children), "How does it make you feel when your mom says, 'It's time to go to bed?'" * When a Sewickley Academy student says, "Annoyed, 'cause I'm not really that tired usually, 'cause I'm used to staying up like all night." * When the boy's little brother says, quite dramatically, about his morning send-off, "We have to rush for the bus, and I hate school!" * When Simbra offers tips: "Make a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, weeknight or weekend. If you have some time, you can try moving bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each night, with the same wake-up time in the morning. Avoid naps and caffeine -- also no video games, computers, texting or TV before bed." * When a woman who we assume is a doctor -- we're never told who she is, but she's dressed like a doctor, and has medical stuff hanging behind her -- makes some observations. "There's always a lot of excitement. It's always hard to get them rest and relax, but it comes with practice," she says. * When "Dr. Who?" adds, "Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase their inattentiveness during the day, can lead to mood issues during the day." * When Simbra makes her first appearance in the story -- alone, in an empty sleep lab -- and recommends that "Children, even teen-agers, need more sleep than adults. So, as a parent, be a good role model and try to get seven to eight hours of sleep yourself." What We Learned: Maybe the people who edited this could use more sleep. Unanswered Question: Can we add not watching local news to the list of before-bed no-nos? News Value: 2. Simbra talks to one expert in this story, and we don't even know who the hell she is, or what makes her an expert. 

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