A new study published this Monday warns about the effects of using mobile devices on children’s sleep. Parents who care about the quality and the quantity of their children’s sleep should keep mobile devices out of their bedrooms. Devices like phones, tablets and laptops should be in the children’s room before bedtime. It’s not just the amount of screen time that children get. It’s also the effect that having electronic devices nearby has on their mood. Having mobile devices within reach simply doesn’t create a quiet, peaceful environment that is conducive to sleep.
Keep Mobile Devices Out of the Children’s Bedroom
Using a mobile device before their bedtime leads to children having trouble falling asleep as well as staying asleep. Also, it gives children daytime sleepiness the next day. The light from the screens of tablets and phones can affect circadian rhythms even for adults. So, it’s even more difficult for a child to get a good night’s sleep if they use a mobile device right before bed.
But the authors of the study go even further and claim that keeping the mobile devices in the bedroom affect the quality of the children’s sleep. Even if parents impose strict rules about not using phones or tablets before bedtime. Research shows that children who are allowed to keep mobile devices in their room have greater odds of having poor length and poor quality of sleep.
Ben Carter is a professor at King’s College London and the leader of the study. In a statement, he stressed the importance of sleep for growing children.
“Sleep is an often undervalued but important part of children’s development, with a regular lack of sleep causing a variety of health problems. With the ever growing popularity of portable media devices and their use in schools as a replacement for textbooks, the problem of poor sleep among children is likely to get worse,”
said Ben Carter.
Children Are More Easily Affected by Mobile Device Use
According to the study, children having access to technology has become the norm. 72 percent of children and 89 percent of teenagers have at least one mobile device in their bedroom. Most children answered that they use it regularly before bedtime.
The standards for a good night’s sleep for children are higher than those for adults. Children’s brains are still developing and they need plenty of rest after a full day. Children should fall asleep with relative ease. Also, they should stay asleep throughout the night without any interruptions. The average amount of rest that a child needs is about nine or ten hours of sleep.
Keeping mobile devices out of the bedroom of a child doesn’t guarantee a perfect sleep. But the odds of having poor quality sleep with difficulty falling and staying asleep are higher with mobile devices in the room.
Out of the children who said that they did not get enough hours of sleep, many used or had mobile devices available. 45.4% said that they regularly use their mobile devices right before they go to bed. 41% said that they have a mobile device in their bedroom but that they don’t use it before bedtime. Just 31.5 percent said that they don’t have any mobile devices in their room.
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