Do your children go to bed at night with a tablet or smartphone in their room? A recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates this might cause them to suffer from poor sleep and daytime drowsiness.
The report pooled from 20 studies involving 125,198 children between the ages of 6 and 18. It discovered that when a child goes to bed with a screen device at least three nights a week they have an 88 percent increased risk for not getting enough sleep each night.
As sleep is directly correlated with the mental and physical development of children, it is incredilby important that they are able to receive the correct amount of sleep each night. For young children, this can average ten hours a night and nine for adolescents.
Insufficient sleep can cause your child to see everything in a more negative light. Although adults are also prone to moodiness when sleep deprived, children can experience these effects more harshly as the lack of sleep can create irregularities in their hormones. This might cause them to have stronger displays of emotion towards minor events or be less able to control their impulses.
When a child does not receive the necessary amount of sleep at night, it can also cause them to display characteristics associated with mental disorders. For instance, they could either be more active and disobedient than normal, or they could exhibit signs of anxiousness and withdraw into themselves.
To help your child get a good night's sleep each night, here are a few tips you can follow:
- Keep their room cool, quiet, and dark (this means remove all screen devices that could affect their REM sleep).
- Encourage them to participate in an activity that will let them get exercise (plan this at least three hours before bedtime).
- Put them to bed at the same time each night (getting the body into a schedule is the best way to develop healthy circadian rhythms).
- Do not allow them to eat big meals before bedtime.
- Do not allow them to drink sugary or caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or near bedtime.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as a warm shower or reading, to let their mind and body know it is time to sleep.
- The New York Times: "What Keeps Kids Up at Night? Cellphones and Tablets"
- National Sleep Foundatiion: "Children and Sleep"
- Sleep Education: "Sleep problems may affect children's behavior"
- Sleep for Kids: "Teaching Kids the Importance of Sleep"
- Nestmaven: "Sleep Benefits: 20 Incredible Benefits Of Sleep That Make You Superhuman"
- Image: Civalias Kune via Unsplash