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The Small Screen Could be Stealing Your Kid's Sleep!

January 13, 2015

The Small Screen Could be Stealing Your Kid's Sleep!

We used to be worried that our kids would spend the entire night watching tv in their bedrooms, which is why many of us either established strong tv watching curfews. But now an even more dangerous screen is threatening to steal your children’s sleep away from them.

Most children today will have at least one small screen in their bedrooms. Whether it is a cell phone, a tablet or portable gaming device of some kind, a recent study published in Pediatrics, has found that these small screen devices can be part of the increasing problem of sleep deprivation amongst children. This claim isn’t anything new to those of us who eventually removed the tv from our children’s rooms, but it seems that these new smaller screens are even more of a threat to sleep than previously imagined.

Part of the study has suggested that due to the interactivity involved when messaging or playing games on a mobile device, these small screens will not only keep you children awake for longer, but the sleep that they will eventually get will be of poorer quality and not as deep or long as normal sleep. The studies have also suggested that due to the brightness of the small screens, your children’s melatonin release at night will be vastly increased and thusly have a detrimental effect on your children’s sleep.

The study suggested that children with a tv in their rooms received about 20 minutes less sleep a night than those who don’t. While this might not sound like a lot, while this might not sound serious, it can add up to be a significant decrease in precious development sleep.

But this new small screened sleep threat is not unique to children - many of us have our mobile phones on our bedside tables and while we might not be texting at all hours of the night, we are still awoken by messages, dying battery alerts or any other part of a cacophony of noises emitted by our phones in the middle of the night.

What should you do about it?

If you think that getting your children’s phones away from them will be easy, then you are dreaming! It seems that our children have developed a symbiotic relationship with their phones and getting them to live without them in virtually impossible. Our best advice? Explain the benefits of sleep and the dangers of not getting enough of it, and try to establish healthy sleeping habits early on. Good luck!

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