With screen time proven to disrupt your child’s sleep, here’s why more of us should be switching off TVs and tablets before bedtime.
Research has found 89% of kids play with a tablet or screen before bedtime, despite research finding the blue light emitted from TV screens and electronic devices disrupts sleep.
The survey of 1,600 parents also found 92% are worried about their children’s screen time usage before bed. Of these, 74% are concerned it affects their child’s sleep.
And they’re right to be worried.
Not only is it affecting their sleep, but it could also make them ill, too. With that in mind, here’s why you should think about limiting screen time in the run up to bedtime …
How do tablets and smartphones disrupt sleep?
Tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices with self-luminous electronic displays have been shown to suppress melatonin at night.
This is an important sleep hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles (your circadian rhythms) and induces sleep.
Researchers found that children and teenagers who use mobile phones and tablets at bedtime are more than twice as likely to be getting too little sleep as those who don’t.
Brandon Ackroyd from TigerMobiles.com, who commissioned the survey of parents with kids aged six to 14-years-old, said, ‘our research reveals that the vast majority of parents are worried about their children using devices just before bed.
‘Because children have easy access to tablets and smartphones it’s far harder to police their use. Several scientific studies show that blue light emitted from the devices can cause sleep deprivation.
‘We’re seeing more and more schools use tablets as a replacement for textbooks too so the problem of poor sleep amongst children is likely to get worse.’
What are the effects of lack of sleep?
Lack of sleep in adults and children can have far reaching health consequences.
It can impair the immune system and may lead to other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
The survey also found 59% of parents surveyed think their kids spend too much time in front of screens. Meanwhile, 89% wanted advice on how they can better manage their kids’ screen time.
Here are our top tips on helping your kids get a better night’s sleep.
Tips to help your kids sleep
Having predictable and positive bedtime routines are crucial in helping your little one sleep.
Keep gadgets out of the bedroom and also don’t use in the hour before bed.
Low level night lights
If your child doesn’t like the dark, use low-illumination night lights to help them nod off.
Limit TV time
Monitor your child’s TV use before bedtime, and try to avoid watching any TV an hour before bedtime.