Turn Off Technology Well Before Bedtime
Several studies have linked the use of technology before bed with increased alertness and difficulty falling asleep. One such study found that the more frequently adolescents used technology in the evening, the later they went to bed.
The science behind this? After 1.5 hours looking at a bright screen, our body produces less melatonin – the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
This can have negative health repercussions. One study of children between the ages of 4 and 11 links increased screen time with increased sleep anxiety and increased sleep disturbance. Further studies associate a lack of sleep with decreased productivity, depression, lack of energy and poor school performance.
To counter this, you can try to limit the use of technology directly before bed. With younger children, you can encourage other activities such as reading, drawing or playing. With older children, you can suggest more passive activities (eg. watching TV, reading) over interactive activities (eg. video gaming, using a smartphone).
Remember – if you’re using your phone a lot around bedtime, your children are likely to follow your lead. If possible, take a couple of hours to switch off as a family.