In today’s times, children are drawn to screen like bees to honey. With the easy access to electronic devices, some children are now exposed to screens from as young as a few months of age. While technology has brought about many benefits, the excessive use of screens has been linked to several issues in children, such as a poor quality of sleep.
How Blue Light from Screens Affects Children’s Sleep and Vision
Numerous studies have shown that increased screen time can lead to a reduction in the total hours of sleep and also the quality of sleep that children get. This is due to the blue light emitted from screens, which interferes with the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. Constant exposure to blue light over time could also damage retinal cells and cause vision problems in young children.
Why Screen Time is Keeping Your Kids Up at Night
Moreover, the content on screens can be overly stimulating for children, leading to children struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. The constant exposure to screens can also disrupt circadian rhythms, which regulate the body’s internal clock and can lead to a delayed sleep schedule. This could also be the reason why parents often question why their children are unable to fall asleep when it is way past bed time.
Furthermore, using screens before bedtime has been linked to other sleep-related problems, such as nightmares, sleep anxiety, and insomnia. This can greatly affect children’s physical and mental health, affecting their ability to focus, learn, and thrive in their daily lives.
How much screen time is recommended
Therefore, it is very important for parents to establish clear boundaries when it comes to screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2-5 years have no more than one hour of screen time per day, and children over 6 years old should have consistent limits on the amount of screen time they have daily. Instead of using screens to keep children occupied, parents should encourage children to go outdoors as a form of play and relaxation.
It is also essential to establish a consistent bedtime routine, which could include relaxing activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music before bed. Parents can also create a sleep-conducive environment by keeping the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
In conclusion, screen time can have a significant impact on children’s sleep quality when it is not well managed. Parents need to be aware of the effects of excessive screen usage, and take a more active approach in limiting screen time and filtering contents on screens. It is also beneficial to create a healthy sleep routine from an early age so children can enjoy the benefits of technology without interfering with their sleep and overall well being.