Researchers say that nearly 3 out of 4 children (72 per cent) between the ages of 6 and 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms while sleeping.
In today's technology driven world, you'll find that most kids keep their phones, laptops, tablets or other electronic gadgets in close proximity when they sleep. As a parent, if you've never bothered turning off these devices then you must pay attention. According to National Sleep Foundation survey, children who leave electronic devices on at night sleep up to one hour less on average per night.
Sleep, or lack thereof, and technology often go hand in hand when it comes to school going kids. To help counter this situation parents can take some precautionary measures. Dr. Jill Creighton, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children's Hospital elaborates on this and says, "First develop a nighttime routine. Whether it's a bath, reading a book or listening to soothing music, these actives will have a better impact on your child to help them relax before going to sleep. Make the hour before bed a no-electronics zone."
Studies show that the light from backlit electronics (like tablets, smartphones and video games) can disrupt the child's ability to fall - and stay - asleep. Creighton suggests designating a spot at home for electronics to be plugged in, then having kids start their bedtime routine by plugging in one hour before lights out.
Researchers added by saying, "The burst of light from a phone (even if it's just to check the time) can break a sleep cycle. A regular alarm clock is best. If your child is addicted to technology and is resistant about turning off their device, try dialling down the screen time. Reduce screen time by 30 minutes or more each week until you reach your goal."
Creighton concluded by saying that "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."