Throughout April we’ve been promoting Teen Sleep and the importance of getting teens to recognise why a good night’s sleep is vital to their health and wellbeing.
One of the issues that crops up time and time again is how technology is impacting on their sleep quality.
So we thought we’d ask parents ‘What stops your child/teen from sleeping?’ And it wasn’t surprising to see 50% said it’s electronic gadgets and social media.
Social media has had a huge impact on sleep quality. Not only does using these devices affect sleep latency (ie the time it takes to drop off to sleep) but they also disrupt sleep in the middle of the night.
Only recently did a study find that children who sleep next to smartphones/tablets etc got 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep and those with a TV got 18 fewer minutes compared to children who didn’t have them in their bedrooms. Those children also went to sleep later too – by 37 minutes – and were more likely to say they felt like they hadn’t gotten enough sleep. I wonder why?!
Sleep loss can have a huge impact on a child’s behaviour, mood, concentration, memory, looks and performance at school. So it’s really important to put a time limit on gadgets. We recommend that screen time should be avoided at least an hour before bedtime (and that goes for adults too!) And where possible, ban gadgets from the bedroom.