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Bedtime Use of Technology and Associated Sleep Problems in Children

Bedtime Use of Technology and Associated Sleep Problems in Children

Introduction:

In this 21st century, we can’t even think of a single day without technology. Technology has become so advanced that we can’t walk one foot without it. It has become so powerful- to make our life much easier. But it has both bad and good effects- just like the two sides of a coin.

Children have become one of the largest consumers of technology. According to a study, 40% of fifth or sixth-grade students have their cell phones. Parents have been obliged to give a phone at this age, for security reasons, or to help them keep in touch with the family. But many parents give their children a phone which they use to keep in touch with a friend. In most cases, we are not able to utilize the good sides of technology. But this frequent misuse of technology has become a greater concern for the health of the young generation.

Video games, social media have engulfed young ages, including small children also. Even cartoons on YouTube have become mandatory for kids to have their meals. Late-night mobile surfing has taken away their sleep. It has imposed a great impact on their productivity, concentration, poor academic performance, and unhappiness. Not only smartphones but also television is accused of these same problems to kids. One study has revealed that- children aged 4 to 11 are being diagnosed with sleep anxiety, sleep disturbance.

According to experts, electronics might obstruct sleep as there is no bound over the use. It’s been proven that watching television before bed raises physiological, emotional, and mental arousal. It has been proven in tests on video games and cell phones.

Investigations and Findings:

On investigating each household with children of the age 8 years to 17 years, some information came into notice. The use of devices by children was assessed on a few criteria. Like-

  • Use of electronic devices like TV, gaming devices, phones, etc., before one goes to sleep.
  • Using phones while having food.
  • Where the phones are placed while they sleep at night.
  • How long do they use the devices?

The disruption of their sleep, how long they sleep without waking up were also kept in check, along with the above assessments. These Also included their food intake and nutrition.

By these assessments, childrens were classified as:

BMI

  • (<84.99%)- normal
  • (85% to 94.99%)- overweight
  • (95% to 98.99%)- obese
  • (≥99%)- extreme obesity

Children’s attention towards the things they do and studies- were also assessed. It was found that the number of inattentive children was more than those who were attentive.

Results:

BMI of Child:

It has been proven that those children who use more electronic devices lose their normal BMI level. It increases or decreases. These types of children are often diagnosed with obesity. Obesity is harming their internal organs and their body in many ways.

Quality and quantity of sleep:

Along with quantity, the quality of sleep has also been deteriorated due to these devices. Often they get trouble falling asleep. The blue light emitted by gadgets, especially from mobile phones, disrupts their sleeping schedule. They wake up in the middle of the night to answer chats as a notification pops up. Their sleeping time drastically reduces and sometimes they feel fatigued in the morning. According to an expert, using a computer at bedtime can reduce the sleeping time by 60 minutes more than others who have not used it. Playing video games at bedtime has an extremely bad impact on sleeping. So, also to ensure good sleep choose a good blanket. Blanket size plays an important role as they help your child to fit in properly and have undisturbed sleep.

Impact on the activities of Children:

Video games, social media have bound them in their houses. They have become less interested in outdoor games. As a result, they are gaining weight and the chance of obesity is increasing day by day. Obesity affects BMI, which has a direct effect on sleep. Obesity increases BMI and can cause depression with asthma. And as their exposure to sunlight is so less, they don’t even get tired enough to fall asleep. This has even decreased their physical and mental health.

Attention and consideration of children:

Several studies have proven that heavy use of electronic devices has a great impact on concentration power. Besides lack of sleep, feeling lazy in the morning directly affects the attention and academic performance of the child. The blue light emitted by these electronics affects their minds in a way that they even feel it difficult to read books since their eyes are so tired after glaring at the screens.

What is best to stop these problems during sleep?

To decrease the use of devices throughout the day and before sleep. Use different types of blankets which can help children curl up and sleep well. There are varieties of blankets available like the comforters, duvets etc and you can choose what suits your kid best.

Conclusion:-

There was no evidence of a link between parental technology use and children’s technology use. Children don’t know how much they should spend time on electronic devices. They play games and watch movies for hours.  They don’t think that looking into the screens is affecting their health. They even blast the music of the games or movies and this decreases their sense of hearing. Even while studying they use online pdf instead of books. So the screens have become a vital part of their life.

But the children need parental guidance. They need to be told what is good for them and what is not. It is best to restrict their time on the screen and keep the electronics away from them- at least before going to sleep. Building up a good habit of meditation or working out in the morning can increase good health. The children will be much happier and healthier if they run around and play outdoor games instead of being at the PlayStation inside the house. This is because- fresh air and sunlight are required for the good mental and physical health of the body. Chances of obesity decrease and the children function more. Their mental development is better. They can concentrate better. They will socialize with the family better than those who play games online throughout the day.

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