How do sleep and diet affect children with OCD?
Stress, sleep and hunger each play a big part in how children function. In this video, HealthMaker Jerry Bubrick, PhD, explains why these three things are crucial in kids coping with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders.
If we're lucky, they have something for breakfast. Even if it's something like a muffin or a pancake. It's still better than nothing.
Stress and sleep and hunger are all huge parts of an overall child's functioning,
but also, huge parts of the treatment of OCD or any anxiety disorder for that matter. Here, in New York City, children will get home from school
after their activities-- they may not get home until 4:00 or 5:00. Then they have dinner, then they start their homework.
They may shower. They may not be getting to bed until 10:00, 11:00, 12:00. And then they're up the next morning at 5:00 or 6:00.
So, already they're at a disadvantage because they're only getting six hours of sleep when, developmentally, they should be getting closer to eight or nine.
So then you have a child the next day who's a little bit sleep deprived, a little irritable the next day, concentration might be a little bit
off the next day. So now I have a child who's got some anxiety, who has some OCD, who's got a little sleep deprivation,
and may not be focusing as well as they could be, then getting caught up more in their thoughts. So it can become a whole downward spiral
in terms of those areas. Taking into consideration overall stress, the pressure of school, the pressure of succeeding, am
I going to get into middle school, where I'm going to go for high school, and then the high school kids are worrying about like, where am I going to go for college. So on top of all of the daily stress that they have,
plus being a little sleep deprived, when they wake up in the morning for school, if we're lucky, they have something for breakfast. Even if it's something like a muffin or a pancake,
it's still better than nothing, but not necessarily healthy. So we'll see kids eating breakfast between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning.
Lunches in US schools range from 10:30 in the morning to 1:00 in the afternoon. And we're lucky if kids are eating
anything healthy and nutritious at lunch. And then if they go from school to an activity, they may have a snack, but may not really
have their first dose of real nutrition until dinner, which may not be until 6:00. So the combination of excessive stress plus sleep deprivation
can make coping with OCD or any anxiety disorder or any mood disorder that much more difficult. [MUSIC PLAYING]
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