Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better

Date:
September 4, 2014
Source:
Stony Brook University
Summary:
Sleep, or lack thereof, and technology often go hand in hand when it comes to school-aged kids. Nearly three out of four children (72%) between the ages of 6 and 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms while sleeping, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey. Children who leave those electronic devices on at night sleep less -— up to one hour less on average per night.

Sleep, or lack thereof, and technology often go hand in hand when it comes to school-aged kids. Nearly three out of four children (72%) between the ages of 6 and 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms while sleeping, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey. Children who leave those electronic devices on at night sleep less -- up to one hour less on average per night, according to a poll released by the foundation earlier this year.

Related Articles


Dr. Jill Creighton, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children's Hospital says the key to a successful school year starts with Z's. So parents, how can you power down your kids at night and make bedtime easier? Dr. Creighton shares her tips. "First -- develop a nighttime routine," says Dr. Creighton. Whether it's a bath, reading a book or listening to soothing music, these actives will have a better impact on your child to help them relax before going to sleep.

Second -- Power off! "The hour before bed should be a no-electronics zone," says Dr. Creighton. Studies show that the light from backlit electronics (like tablets, smartphones and video games) can disrupt our ability to fall -- and stay -- asleep. Dr. Creighton says designate a spot in your home for electronics to be plugged in, then have your kids start their bedtime routine by plugging in one hour before lights out. Ban hand-held devices from the bedroom. "The burst of light from a phone (even if it's just to check the time) can break a sleep cycle," says Dr. Creighton. "A regular alarm clock is best."

If your child has a slight addiction to technology and is resistant about turning off their device, try dialing down the screen time. "Reduce screen time by 30 minutes or more each week until you reach your goal," says Dr. Creighton. "A good rule of thumb is try to limit recreational screen time to 60 minutes every day. And for every 30 minutes of screen time, make sure your kids get 30 minutes of physical activity."

Try to replace screen time with an activity. "It's sometimes hard to get kids off the couch and get them moving, especially if they think of physical activity as "exercise'' or "boring," says Dr. Creighton. "Parents, get creative and make moving fun for kids." Some of Dr. Creighton's ideas: a 20-minute family walk, 20 minutes of shooting hoops outside, walking the dog, going bike riding and doing chores (with the promise of an allowance) such as vacuuming, putting away laundry, raking leaves, shoveling snow and helping with the garbage/recycling, which are big favorites in her household.

Lastly, establish good habits. Being distracted by phones, hand-held devices and TV shows during mealtime cannot only lead to overeating, but additional unneeded screen time. And be a good role model. Parents, set a good example when it comes to screen time.

So how much sleep do your children need? General sleep guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute show that sleep time change as we age, but experts say there is no magic number for sleep, with individual needs varying.

• Newborns: 16-18 hours a day.

• Preschool-age children: 11-12 hours a day.

• School-age children: at least 10 hours a day.

• Teens: 9-10 hours a day.

• Adults (including the elderly): 7-8 hours a day.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University. "What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904183554.htm>.
Stony Brook University. (2014, September 4). What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904183554.htm
Stony Brook University. "What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904183554.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins