sleep

Sleep-deprived kids? Courtesy, screen time before going to bed

Health & Fitness

Though your children are going to hate you for this but then that is the best way to help them become healthy individuals. Science says it is best to take away screens from kids in the hours leading up to bedtime. Of more than five dozen studies looking at youth aged 5-17 from around the world, 90 per cent have found that more screen time is associated with delayed bedtimes, fewer hours of sleep, and poorer sleep quality. A team out of the University of Colorado, Boulder conducted a review of all the available academic literature on how screens are robbing our children of sleep.

The team’s review found three main screen-related reasons:
i) Content is too stimulating, especially in mobiles and computer games.

ii) Wavelength and quality of light emanating from the devices has a physical effect on circadian rhythms and sleep physiology, such as drastically lowering the body’s level of melatonin, a hormone known to be involved in telling our bodies that it is time to hit the bed.

iii) Since screens are smaller than ever — and that more than 75 per cent youth have some kind of screen in their bedroom — it is incredibly easy for them to watch television when they should be getting a good night’s rest.

The team also found that on average, kids who spent time watching TV or playing video games got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than their counterparts. For children who used their smart phones before going to bed, things were worse. On an average, they lost an hour of sleep. And it did not matter what technology they used. All kids who spent time watching screens were more likely to use their smart phone during night. In turn, this lack of sleep can lead to a higher BMI.

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