Kids having trouble falling asleep
The amount of time spent looking at a screen near bedtime is likely to delay sleep for children and teens, according to a study just out in the January 14th issue of the journal Pediatrics. The study examined the association between watching television, playing video games and using the computer in the 90 minutes before bedtime. Researchers looked at children ages 5 to 18, their pre-sleep activities and how long it took them to fall asleep. Those with more screen time took longer to fall asleep while those with little or no screen time fell asleep significantly faster.
Reducing screen-based behaviors before bedtime with other sedentary activities, like reading, drawing or listening to music, may help children to fall asleep earlier and also increase the length of time that they sleep. “Sleep is just as important in terms of growth and development as nutrition,” said Dr. Roya Samuels, an attending pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “Kids need adequate sleep to grow emotionally, physically and mentally. Two hours before bedtime should be calm time.”
Reading about this new study got me thinking about my own sleep issues. I confess I often park myself in front of the tube before bed. I’m tired and think I don’t have much energy for anything else. But I often find that as soon as I put my head to the pillow my mind starts to race and it takes a while for me to drop off to dreamland. I think this information will be good for me and for the toddlers in our family, too. Let us know if making changes before bed helps you.