Many of us have smartphones, tablets and other screens that we enjoy using at bedtime, but these popular devices can be responsible for serious sleep problems in children.
Keeping Kids Awake
The first impact of screens on sleep problems in children is obvious. Children who have smartphones, tablets or other screens in their bedrooms are more likely to stay awake so they can keep using them. It can be difficult to avoid the temptation to check your phone or watch one more video, even as a adult, but this can cut down on the time you have for sleep.
The best way to avoid this problem is to keep screens out of the bedroom. Although it can be difficult to get older children, it can have a big impact on the quality and length of sleep so it is worth it. You might even find that your teenager is already aware of the negative effects that late night screentime is having, so they may be happy to leave their phones and tablets downstairs at night. You might find that imposing a similar rule on yourself will improve your sleep too. It can also help to get rid of other distractions too, if they’re interfering with your child’s sleep. The bedroom should be a calm and restful place that encourages sleep.
Light from Screens
The second problem with screens is that the light they give off can actually trigger sleep problems in children. The wavelengths produced by phones and other screens can stimulate wakefulness, making it harder to get to sleep even after they’ve been turned off.
The best way to counteract this problem is to limit screentime before bed. It is usually best to avoid looking at a screen for at least 30 to 60 minutes before you go to sleep. Freeing up this time could also enable you to start a new, more relaxing bedtime routine for your child or help you to spend more time together.