Let's talk sleep and screens! When it comes to kids, it's time to understand what the experts say!
Sleep is sacred. Closing our eyes to the need for developing children getting the required amount of sleep has never been more important.
The AAP recommends children not do not sleep with devices in their bedrooms, including TVs, computers and smartphones.
The AAP recommends avoiding exposure to screens for 1 hour before going to bed. Using devices past bedtime, especially for violent video games or shows, can interfere with sleep. Studies also suggest the blue light given off by screens might also make it difficult to sleep.
Healthy Sleep Habits - Tips from the AAP
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the AASM guidelines and encourages parents to make sure their children develop good sleep habits right from the start.
Make sleep a family priority. And the right amount of uninterrupted sleep! Understand the importance of getting enough sleep. It affects the overall health of your children. Remember that adults are role models to your child so make sure to set a good example.
Making sleep a priority for yourself shows your children that it's part of living a healthy lifestyle—like eating right and exercising regularly.
Keep to a regular daily routine. The same waking time, meal times, nap time, and play times will help your child feel secure and comfortable, and help with a smooth bedtime. For young children, it helps to start early with a bedtime routine such as brush, book, bed. Make sure the sleep routines you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child get to sleep wherever you may be.
Be active during the day. Make sure your kids have interesting and varied activities during the day, including physical activity and fresh air. See Energy Out: Daily Physical Activity Recommendations for more information.
Monitor screen time. The AAP recommends keeping all screens—TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, and phones out of children's bedrooms, especially at night. To prevent sleep disruption, turn off all screens at least 60 minutes/1 hour before bedtime.
Create a sleep-supportive and safe bedroom and home environment.
Realize that teens require more sleep, not less. sleep-wake cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty. At the same time, most high schools require students to get to school earlier and earlier. The AAP has been advocating for middle and high schools delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later. It is important that parents and local school boards work together to implement high school start times that allow teens to get the healthy sleep they need. See the AAP policy statement, School Start Times for Adolescents, for more information.
Avoid over-scheduling. In addition to homework, many children today have scheduled evening activities (i.e., sports games, lessons, appointments, etc.) that pose challenges to getting a good night's sleep. Take time to wind down and give your children the downtime that they need.
The research is a combination of the American Association of Pediatrics own, as well as Samira Sine's training as a parent educator. David Kirsch's experience in over-all health and movement includes advice on the vital importance of sleep for young bodies and minds.