In the past few years, electronic devices have become an inevitable part of our everyday life. From smart TVs and gadgets for the home to the smartphones that revolutionized our life.
However, the changed life comes with a twist and a price to pay – sleep issues.
It’s not an unknown fact that these devices emit blue light that can greatly influence our brain. In fact, more and more scientists are pointing out to this fact and stating that this light influences both children and adults to fall asleep later than usual, have shorter sleep hours, wake up during the night, and even have “after effects” the next-day – tiredness.
In some studies, the blue light emitted from devices is stated as an equivalent of caffeine. Yes, giving your kids a smartphone to watch videos is like giving them a coffee to drink.
Wondering what can you as a parent do about it?
Here is a short but effective list of specific things you can do to prevent this from happening.
1. LIMIT SCREEN TIME ESPECIALLY BEFORE BEDTIME
This is the simplest and most obvious thing you can do, limit your kid’s screen time at least an hour before they go to bed. In this “blackout” period before bedtime, you shouldn’t allow your children to watch TV or videos on your smartphone/tablet or play video games.
2. BEDTIME ROUTINE
Hand in hand with removing the screens before bedtime goes a solid structure – a solid routine.
Now, this is not a “one glove that fits all” and we don’t have the magic equation. Each child is an individual on its own so try to customize this routine according to your child. Here you might include: a bubbly bath, reading a book together, or listening to relaxing music.
Think about relaxing your child before going to sleep.
3. DO IT STEP-BY-STEP
Now, since technology and electronic devices are all around us, it’s not uncommon for children to have a slight addiction to it even from the youngest age. If that’s the case, instead of instantly cutting off smart devices from their life, try to reduce the spent time step-by-step until you reach your goal.
4. GET YOUR CHILD A BED TENT
First time hearing about this? Bed tents are specifically designed for this purpose.
In a matter of minutes, they are placed on top of the existing mattress and bed frame and will provide your child with a private oasis. This will turn your child’s most boring activity into a fun one. Your child will feel like in its world, in its fortress, on top of all the other benefits such as privacy and reduced artificial and natural light.
5. BLUE LIGHT FILTER
Some days everything we’ve mentioned so far might work flawlessly, but on others, you might feel like conquering the world when it comes to taking away the tablet from your child’s hand.
Yes, rules are difficult to follow for everyone.
However, these days, you can make an exception and use the so-called “blue-light” filter on the device they are using. If there is not such an option you can always buy a physical fill to place on top of the screen you need.