Music and Mood

Winter can be a hard time of year for many people.  The days are shorter and the weather may keep us indoors more often.  One helpful thing to remember when trying to make it through a dreary cold and flu season is the fact that music can be beneficial to our mental health.  Take a look at this short article from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Music’s beneficial effects on mental health have been known for thousands of years. Ancient philosophers from Plato to Confucius and the kings of Israel sang the praises of music and used it to help soothe stress. Military bands use music to build confidence and courage. Sporting events provide music to rouse enthusiasm. Schoolchildren use music to memorize their ABCs. Shopping malls play music to entice consumers and keep them in the store. Dentists play music to help calm nervous patients. Modern research supports conventional wisdom that music benefits mood and confidence.

Because of our unique experiences, we develop different musical tastes and preferences. Despite these differences, there are some common responses to music. Babies love lullabies. Maternal singing is particularly soothing, regardless of a mom’s formal musical talents or training. Certain kinds of music make almost everyone feel worse, even when someone says she enjoys it; in a study of 144 adults and teenagers who listened to 4 different kinds of music, grunge music led to significant increases in hostility, sadness, tension, and fatigue across the entire group, even in the teenagers who said they liked it. In another study, college students reported that pop, rock, oldies, and classical music helped them feel happier and more optimistic, friendly, relaxed, and calm.

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Sleep Recommendations Update for Infants, Children, and Adolescents:


1.  American Academy of Pediatrics SmartBrief;  June 13, 2016:

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends daily sleep of 12 to 16 hours for 4 month-olds to 1 year-olds, 11 to 14 hours for 1 to 2 year-olds, 10 to 13 hours for 3 to 5 year olds, 9 to 12 hours  for 6 to 12 year-olds and 8 to 10 hours for 12 to 18 year-olds.  The guidelines in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, indicate lack of sleep may heighten the risk of injuries, depression, hypertension, and obesity among children and suicidal thoughts or self-harm among adolescents, while regular excess sleep may raise risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and mental health problems.”

2. The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS);  November 2016:

Recommendations for infants up to 1 year of age:

  • Infants should be placed on their backs for sleep.
  • Infants should sleep on a firm surface.
  • Breast-feeding is recommended, as it is associated with reduced risk for SIDS.
  • Infants should sleep in the same room with parents – but not in the same bed – until at least 6 months of age.
  • Avoid bed sharing for infants less than 4 months of age, premature infants, and infants born small for gestational age.
  • Avoid bed sharing with current smokers, mothers who smoked during pregnancy, and anyone whose alertness is impaired.
  • Do not have soft objects or loose bedding in the sleep area.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap or bedtime.
  • Avoid overheating and head covering during sleep.
  • Avoid exposure to smoke, alcohol, and drugs during pregnancy.
  • Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors or other medical devices marketed to avoid SIDS.

If you have any questions concerning these recommendations, please discuss them with your child’s pediatrician.