Our Kids Aren’t Sleeping Because They Are Too Busy Looking At Their iPads

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shutterstock_150454292__1393868324_142.196.167.223Many kids aren’t getting the sleep they need, and I think we can probably all guess why. They have electronic devices in their rooms, keeping them up and disturbing their sleep patterns.

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey and found out that children in every age group were getting less sleep than they probably should. Over 1,000 parents of children between the ages of 6 and 17 were asked to estimate how much sleep their kids got on an average school night. They found that a majority of kids slept fewer hours than the NSF recommends. They also found that three out of four kids sleeps with an electronic device of some kind in the bedroom.

From The Huffington Post:

“To ensure a better night’s sleep for their children, parents may want to limit their children using technology in their bedroom near or during bedtime,” poll task force member Orfeu Buxton, Ph.D. said in a statement. Teens who slept with devices on averaged about half an hour less sleep on school nights compared to teens who slept without devices. Experts typically recommend powering down all electronic devices at least an hour before bed, since they both stimulate the brain and suppress the release of the sleep-promotion hormone melatonin.

My teenage step daughter would sleep with her iPad under her pillow if we let her. I’m turning into the hypochondriac mom constantly saying things to her like That can give you brain cancer! The rays aren’t good for you! If you’re wondering what “rays” I’m referring to, don’t ask. It just seems like something a crazy hypochondriac mom should be saying – so I do it.

This all makes sense. When I had a period of insomnia everything I read about it pointed to turning off your television and unplugging for a while before you go to bed. I’ve never had a television or anything in my room. I know the sound of it lulls some people to sleep, but it does the exact opposite for me.

The poll takers suggest that a good rule for improving sleep is enforcing bedtimes. They also insist that parents should lead by example; “Children whose parents have electronics in the bedroom are more likely to have devices in their bedrooms, too. Less than a quarter of children have a smartphone, laptop or video game in their bedrooms if their parents do not.”

(photo: Alena Ozerova/ Shutterstock)