Did you know that the use of electronics before bed is resulting in children not meeting basic sleep requirements? (And the same goes for adults!)
The increasing prevalence of electronics in children’s bedrooms is negatively impacting sleep time, sleep quality and daytime alertness. Using these electronics not only promotes mental activity, but the light emitted from a tablet or smartphone emits sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. This light disrupts our circadian rhythm, tricking our bodies into thinking it’s daytime, when we should be awake. As the National Sleep Foundation highlights, adults are subject to these influences but children are particularly susceptible. Important to note is that not all late night electronic usage is recreational. Schools are increasingly relying on technology and media as a platform to do homework and if that work is completed on the computer late at night, it can not only disrupt sleep due to light but also impact stress levels, resulting in a poor quality sleep. A good rule of thumb is to shut down all electronics (TV, computer, games, texting/emailing) 1 hour before bed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, preschoolers (age 3-5) should sleep 10-13 hours; school age children (6-13) should sleep 9-11 hours; teenagers (14-17) should sleep 8-10 hours; and adults should sleep 7-9 hours.