This one bad habit might be the reason why your little one is constantly tossing and turning at night. Read on to find out more!
Smartphones are found almost everywhere these days. It’s a part of our daily lives, and for a lot of people, their smartphones are the first thing they check in the morning, and the last thing that they check at night before going to bed. However, a new study has found that using a mobile phone in bed before going to sleep is a bad bedtime habit as it can cause sleep disruption not only in adults, but particularly among children.
Bad bedtime habit: Phones should be a no-no before sleeping
According to researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, children and teenagers are more prone to having sleep problems if they have a habit of using their phones right before going to sleep.
Monique LeBourgeois, one of the researchers shares, “Light is our brain clock’s primary timekeeper.” And that when the light hits a person’s retina, it suppresses the body’s production of melatonin which is the body’s sleep-inducing hormone. “We know younger individuals have larger pupils, and their lenses are more transparent, so their exposure and sensitivity to that light is even greater than in older individuals,” she adds.
Additionally, the researchers found that it doesn’t matter what the kids are using their phones for right before sleeping. Even sending a simple text message right before going to bed is enough to cause sleep problems since the light produced by the phone messes up their body’s own natural sleep cycle.
Computer screens or television screens also showed similar effects, and screen time should generally be controlled especially before bedtime.
Phone use should be limited
LeBourgeois suggests that during the hour before going to bed, parents try to restrict their children’s use of devices in general. She also recommends that all media devices should be taken out of a child’s room, and that phones and other gadgets should be turned off at least an hour before bedtime. That way, it’s easier for parents to limit their children’s screen time in order to prevent them from having sleeping problems later on.
She adds that parents should also practice what they preach, and need to turn off their phones since it does have a similar, yet limited effect on adults. It also sets a good example for kids if they see their parents ‘disconnecting’ themselves right before bedtime so that they can get better sleep.
At the end of the day, sleep shouldn’t be an afterthought for parents, since sleeping helps the body rest and recover, and helps boost a growing child’s development.