Electronic Items in Bedrooms Reduce Children’s Sleep by 1 Hour
Electronic devices in the bedroom contributes to at least one hour of less sleep in children aged between 6 and 17 years, according to a study by Stony Brook University.
Statistics released by the National Sleep Foundation shows that three out of four children have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms. This is a concern as children with electronic devices in their rooms sleep an hour less per night.
According to the research, parents must develop and implement a night-time routine that involves either a bath, storytelling or listening to soothing music and the electronic items should be shut down.
Past researches show that the light from backlit electronics like tablets, smartphones and video games affects sleep. "The burst of light from a phone (even if it's just to check the time) can break a sleep cycle," lead researcher Dr. Jill Creighton, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children's Hospital, said in a press release. "A regular alarm clock is best."
"Reduce screen time by 30 minutes or more each week until you reach your goal," said Dr. Creighton. "A good rule of thumb is try to limit recreational screen time to 60 minutes every day. And for every 30 minutes of screen time, make sure your kids get 30 minutes of physical activity."
The researchers also advised that parents should replace screen time with an activity.
"It's sometimes hard to get kids off the couch and get them moving, especially if they think of physical activity as 'exercise' or 'boring,'" said Dr. Creighton. "Parents, get creative and make moving fun for kids."