As research shows children using technology before bed can lose sleep as a result, experts give advice on how to…
As research shows children using technology before bed can lose sleep as a result, experts give advice on how to help young sleep well.
Childcare observation can be difficult for parents to deal with during the day – but new evidence suggests that they should be concerned about the effect it has on children at night as well.
Research shows that 40 percent of children between the ages of six and eleven who use mobile phones, laptops or tablets for hours before bedtime, go around 20 minutes less sleep one night than non-technology children in bedtime. And this means that children who use technology before bedtime each night can end up with a sleep disability of about 1
21 hours a year.
The study, led by cognitive developmental psychologist Dr Anna Weighall of University of Sheffield in conjunction with the University of Leeds and Silentnight, questioned 1,000 parents and also found that, on average, children slept 60 minutes less if technology units were in space, compared to those who slept in a technologically free zone. Parents reported an impact on sleep even though the technology in the bedroom was turned off.
“Technology can benefit our lives in so many ways,” Weighall said, “but parents must be aware of the negative effects it may have on children when it comes to sleep.
“The presence of tablets and phones in a child’s bedroom, even if disabled, may cause them to feel insufficient, which will affect their sleep patterns.
“A 20-minute sleep sickness may not seem a lot, but if you look at it for over a year or even during your childhood year, you begin to see the significant effect of a technically filled sleep nudge. Rules on the use of technology close bedtime is a small change that can make a big difference in our children’s daily lives. “
When light levels drop in the evening, our circadian hours turn on and stimulate the production of sleep hormone melatonin, but the use of technology before bed interferes with this natural process, explains Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight’s sleep expert.
Ramlakhan says that screens on phones and tablets emit blue light, which suppresses the production of melatonin and stimulates the production of the chemical dopamine, which makes us feel alert.
“By establishing a regular sleep nutsin, without mobiles or tablets, the children will sleep better, work better at school and become happier and healthier as a result,” she emphasizes.
“Concentration and ability to learn can be severely affected by sleep deprivation, so I urge children and parents to put down technology at least 90 minutes before bedtime.”
The research also showed that one in ten parents feels unable to ensure that their children get the sleep they need. But sleep specialist Andrea Grace has these tips to help school age to have a good night’s sleep: