When you get a good night’s sleep you wake up feeling refreshed, ready for the day. But when you don’t get the amount of rest you need, it makes for a long day especially if you are in school. It is hard to focus, no matter how hard you try, there is an inability to pay attention, because a lack of sleep affects how we act, think and feel.
According to an article that was published in the Journal of Medical Association Pediatrics, children are losing sleep at night because of media devices in the bedroom, and the devices don’t have to be on. For it was determined that those not using it were still not getting adequate rest because of stimulation from the light of the screen. This comes from children falling asleep with the device in the bed next to them, this is not a good idea. Unless the device is shut off, any movement is likely to cause the screen to light up, that is why they should be off and put away for the night.
After combing through various articles I am amazed at the percentage of children that were found to have lost sleep because of the cell phones, tablets, televisions and other media devices. Waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom is one thing, but to wake up just to check your social media feeds is a bit much. Because they don’t just check it and get off, they interact and the next thing you know one hour or two or three has gone by and now it’s time to get up for school.
Sleep is necessary, it plays an important part in learning, it affects memory. I know that as an adult when I don’t get the proper amount of rest, the next day I am irritable, groggy and just an overall feeling of being “out of it”. I can’t imagine being a child 6 – 19 years old sitting in a classroom tying to absorb information, talk about painful. But if 72% of children and 87% teenagers have at least one device in their bedroom as reported by the National Sleep Foundation, I feel its wise to look further into this issue before it becomes a serious problem.
Technology is here to stay, we all know that. It is important that we use it safely, wisely and effectively. Try to stick to the guidelines of screen time for children, I mentioned it in an earlier post (Out with the old, in with the new). I know that this is easier said than done, but children follow what they see, and if they see adults always on their devices, and it could be very well work related, they may feel that its ok for them to do it also.
Enforcing the no device rule at meal times and having a no device area in your home are good ways to start. Too much screen time leads to increased sedentary behavior which leads to more problems such as childhood obesity. Getting your child up and moving around is so important.
So remember, if your child is showing up at breakfast with a zombie -like stare AFTER you have called them about 10 times, then you might have a little problem with the devices keeping them up. You are equipped to handle it, here’s to a good night’s sleep.