If you are one of those parents who hand over smartphones to your kids to cajole them, we have some bad news for you. In an increasingly popular trend, parents are seen giving smartphones to their children to distract them while they finish their work.
While there are plenty of studies which already point out the side-effects of using a smartphone in bed, people still end up scrolling their night away on inane social media posts. So, if you wake up groggy, irritated and complain of sleep deprivation, you know whom to blame. Similarly, if your kids (and teens) look a little groggy and sleep-deprived throughout the day, you need to seriously monitor their screentime.
According to recent research published in the journal Pediatrics, using a smartphone, right before bedtime is the number one culprit when it comes to sleep disruption in kids. The reason behind the same is actually a no brainer.
Since the child’s brain is still in the development stage, exposure to blue light produced by smartphones and various other gadgets disturb his/her internal body clock to a huge extent. Another important factor to be kept in mind is the larger pupils of children, which make them more vulnerable towards light sensitivity. These two factors in combination wreak havoc on the melatonin levels of your child.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle in our body. When a large amount of light is detected by the retina, melatonin levels drop down. So, you can imagine how exposing your little ones to the dreaded blue light–emitted by the screens of smartphones–can drastically hamper with their night time routine.
What should you do?
First and foremost, you need to ensure that you do not let your children play (or watch videos) on smartphones for extended hours. Instead, encourage regular reading habits and free play time for their better health.
Secondly, take away the phone before they go off to sleep. This will ensure that they do not peak in a video or two and end up scrolling tons of YouTube videos. It is also important that you do not keep the phones in the same room, where your children sleep. The same study has pointed out that children who left their phone in their room faced more sleep disruption.
To put it simply, smartphones and laptops are not only affecting your sleep but your little ones’ too. Make it a point to keep the phone away from the kid at least 2 hours before going to bed. Most of all put a pause on your late-night Netflix and chill sessions if you want to set a good example for your kids.