Published on Nov 21, 2021
How do Screens--such as TV and Smartphones -- Affect my Kids’ Sleep?
Electronic devices such as smartphones, TV, tablets, computers have been an essential part of everyone's life. Almost all young children have access to digital devices, and some of them even own digital devices at a very young age.
Children these days are familiar with electronic devices; they know more about technology than you. With easy access to the internet, they can gain more knowledge.
There is no doubt how much impact technology has made in our life. But on the other side of the coin, there are many problems that technology have brought in our life.
Digital devices have not just made us lazy but also have brought lots of health problems. You may have experienced sleepiness or feeling lack of sleep due to excessive use of digital screens.
You may not notice the effect of screens in the early stages, but ultimately it will affect their health and lives. People, especially young ones, are facing problems like weakening of eyesight, poor sleep patterns, posture and spine problems, and much more.
After the Covid-19 wave, most schools and office works have shifted online due to which the screentime of people have been increasing. During the lockdown, everyone is obligated to stay inside and are always on their electronic devices all day and night, which has disrupted their sleep patterns.
Harmful Effects of Using Screen-Based Devices
- Lack of attention span
- Change in the structure of the brain
- Anxiety and depression.
Reasons Why Electronic Media Such as TV and Smartphones Affect Your Kids' Sleep
Health professionals and researchers recommend an increase in screen time for kids can cause vital health issues. When it comes to managing screen time of babies and toddlers, parents need to pay attention. The mind and bodies of babies and toddlers develop rapidly, so you need to focus on their physical and mental well-being more than keeping them engaged in the media world.
You may see many parents using electronic devices as a pacifier to calm their children whenever they are troubling them. Likewise, you might have given your kids a device to keep them busy when you are doing your work.
But, many parents are not aware that too much screen time can harm kids' daily activities. As a parent, teacher, or guardian, you must work harder and smarter to control your kid's screen time. If you do not keep an eye on the screen time of school-aged children and adolescents, they can use their smartphones or watch TV the entire night; as a result, you may not know if your kids are getting enough sleep or not.
6 Reasons on How Electronic Media Such as TV And Smartphones Affect Your Kids' Sleep
Physical Health Issues
Kids spend most of their time glaring at media devices such as TV and smartphone. Usage of electronics such as computers, smartphones are done by lying on the bed or sitting on a chair.
It will result in various physical issues such as strain on the eyes, back and neck problems, adverse effects on the brain, and much more.
Constant screen time can also make your kid physically inactive, which results in many health problems. When your kid gets deprived of physical activities, they are prone to many heart-related problems. And you are well aware that when your child faces any health problems, they face sleep loss problems.
Mental Health Issues
Excessive screen time creates short-term psychological arousal in kids, which results in many mental health issues. Kids enjoy their time on smartphones and other digital devices and get utterly addicted to them. This addiction may be normal at first, but it can cause many problems in the long run.
If these addictions on screens remain for an extensive period, kids can develop many mental problems. Lack of interest and motivation decreased concentration, irritability, and anxiety are significant concerns. Consequently, it results in sleep disorders among children.
Exposed To Radiation
Cell phones connect with the base station using RadioFrequency radiation (RF). Kids who use smartphones more often are continuously exposed to this radiation. This radiation may not be as corrosive as the others, but constant exposing can seriously damage your kids' health.
In the long term, constant exposure to this radiation can cause frequent headaches, irritations which result in insomnia.
Exposed To The Heavy Amount of Blue Light
Staring continuously at your devices will expose you to blue light. A screen-based device such as a laptop, smartphone, and tablet emits light of a blue wavelength. When using these devices, the blue light disrupts your circadian rhythm, reducing the production of the Melatonin hormone responsible for making us sleep. Since the blue light disturbs the production of this hormone, their bedtime routine gets disturbed.
Internet addiction is a kind of addiction that can interfere with your kid's daily routine. There are many things online such as games, social sites, gambling tools, and much more.
Most of the kids these days are addicted to social media and gaming sites. They even end up watching TV shows, movies, videos, or play games at night, which will release dopamine in their brains, giving them more pleasure to watch their screen-based media. Children delay their sleep time and reduce their sleep duration to take the pleasure of digital screens,
Cyberbullying is a vital problem, mostly among school-aged children. Both bullies and the victims faces severe consequences. Bullying affects one's self-esteem and problem-solving capacity. So, to get out of the trouble, kids take the help of other mediums online to get distracted. And this will affect the daily routine of the children.
Many teenagers who face bullying face difficulty in performing daily activities. And, this includes fundamental activities like sleep, cooking, and communication. Children who are victims of bullying have reported problems with sleep-breathing problems. You can prevent this by limiting screen time or using a spying application to detect the bully.
Harmful effects of lack of sleep on kids.
- Lack of interest and motivation.
- Decreased concentration power
- Increases in moodiness and irritability
- Anxiety and depression
- Inability to maintain healthy relationships.
How To Avoid Your Kids From Too Much Screen Time?
Research has consistently shown the adverse effects of too much screen time. Too much screen time has resulted in kids' physical and mental well-being. These problems can harshly affect their childhood and can carry on up to adulthood.
To avoid these problems, you should help your kids in the most effective way possible. Here I have listed some of the most effective solutions for your kids to overcome the adverse effects of screentime.
Encourage Good Physical Health
Before the age of the internet, kids enjoyed playing outdoor games and got involved in physical activities. Physical activity will not only maintain physical health but also help to maintain mental well-being.
Encouraging your kids to indulge in physical activities will help them get healthy sleep. When kids exercise, it will help their internal and external organs function well. And this will create no disturbance in the sleeping cycle.
Support Them Mentally
Children and adolescents are prone to emotional breakdowns due to various factors. Cyberbullying among teenagers is skyrocketing and can be harsh to some kids. You shall treat your kids as your best friend so that they can share their problems.
You can also use various spying applications to monitor your activities on the internet. It is better to filter all the violent things available on the internet and create a safe environment for your kids.
Always Keep an Eye on Them
Children of this digital world require additional attention. There are all types of content on the internet. Some can help them grow smarter and intelligent, whereas some can make them addicted and expose them to violent content. For this reason, you should keep a close eye on them and react accordingly.
You can also make use of a spying application or parental control application like fenced.ai, bark, Qustodio to spy on your kids. These applications come with all the features that will help you know about your children online. It also allows you to reduce their screen times so that your kids can maintain their sleep health.
Limit Screen Time
As a parent, you need to create some strict and effective rules. The best way to improve your kid's sleep time is by reducing the amount of time he/she spends in front of digital devices. You can make a routine for them and make them follow the rules, or you can also use some third-party parental control application.
As I mentioned above, the best way to control your kids' screen time is to use a parental control application. You can use these apps to control your kid's activities and screen time remotely. With the help of this application, your kids will not be able to cheat and stay up at night using their smartphones. You can even check your kid's screen time on their devices.
5.Seek Professional Help
You can solve many of the simple problems in your home. But, if the mess gets out of your control, you may have to seek professional help. Professionals are specially trained and know better than you. With their help, you can solve your kid's problem in the perfect way possible.
If your child is highly addicted to digital devices, then you can consult psychiatrists, pediatricians, and psychologists about your kids' problems. In this case, you can conduct a therapy session and let your kid get comfortable with professionals who will help them with their problem.
Summing up, you cannot remove digital media from your child's life in this digital world. Children will have to learn how to use digital devices like cellphone and computers for the basic functioning of their life. However, it would be best to make sure that your kids are not obsessed with electronic devices.
As a parent, you should make sure that your kids use their cellphones and other gadgets on the limit. There are many ways that many apps that you can use to monitor their device's activities and their screen time habits.