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Want Kids to Have the Best Sleep Quality? Limit Their Use of a Touchscreen!

touchscreen affects sleep

In this day and age, the demographics of phone and mobile device users are getting younger and younger. In fact, a lot of children would rather spend their time playing games on their touchscreen rather than go out to play an actual game. This has resulted in parents being concerned about the health of their child due to the lack of physical activity.

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Too much touch-screen device usage affects children’s sleep quality. (Image source: Flickr)

This is not the end of such concerns, though. There is one more research that was conducted that support the detrimental effects of the constant use of mobile devices on kids’ health. To be specific, the study reveals that the use of touchscreen devices is directly correlated to the quality of sleep that your child gets. Hence, the more time they spend using those smartphones and tablets, the less quality sleep they have!

Importance of Sleep Quality

According to health experts, it is important to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. But aside from the number of hours of sleep, the quality of sleep is also an important consideration. But what is it about sleep that makes it integral to our health?

Sleep is the chance for the body to recuperate and repair itself. During the day, you do a lot of things that exhaust your energy and cause you to become tired. When you go to sleep at night, it gives your body the opportunity to repair itself and restore its basic functions. Without enough sleep, you will feel lethargic or you won’t have enough energy to do things. Hence, it is important to meet the required number of hours of sleep in order to function efficiently.

Good sleep quality is also linked to your ability to maintain a healthy weight and improve concentration and productivity. It also contributes to the reduction of heart diseases.

How Touchscreen Use Affect Children’s Sleep Quality

Young children and toddlers require a lot of sleep since it is crucial for their body’s developing phase. But it is not just their physical body that is developing at this stage, their brains are too! If there are any problems with the brain development during this early stage, those can have ripple effects when they grow up.

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Researchers have found that if a child constantly uses a tablet or smartphone, his sleep quality will be affected. And this isn’t good for his health. (Image source: Flickr)

According to credible research, toddlers and children who use touchscreen devices get fewer hours of sleep as compared to those who don’t. The statistics have also shown that these children lose between 26 minutes to an hour of sleep every night. Consequently, the longer the child spends on using touchscreen devices, the lower the sleep quality becomes. If you are an adult, this might not seem much. But it is for young children that are in a developmental stage.

Even with this data, researchers do not recommend the outright banning of the use of touchscreen devices in young children. Further studies need to be conducted into this matter. A common-sense approach to this, however, would be to minimize your child ‘s exposure to the use of modern gadgets and devices.

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Physical toys and board games are better plaything alternatives for your kids. These will help you regulate the use of touchscreen devices. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Instead, you should encourage the use of physical toys and activities. While cognitive development is important, motor development is also just as important for developing children. So, not only will you be improving sleep quality by giving physical toys, you will also be developing your child’s motor skills.

Conclusion

Exposure to technology and gadgets has its own fair share of negatives and positives, especially when it comes to children. Even though it has been criticized for producing lethargic kids who refuse to go out and do something active, it has also opened up a lot of possibilities for communication. Touchscreen mobile devices are also credited for providing learning tools for a little ones’ development.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to regulate the use of mobile devices in your home. This way, you and your kids can reap the benefits of modern technology without exacerbating the negative impact. Through limitation and regulation, you can still make sure that your children’s health and development are on the right track. And in terms of sleep quality, you need to focus on how you can ensure they sleep better to facilitate their brain’s development.

All in all, if you want your kids to grow healthy and fit, you might want to convince them to let go of their mobile touchscreen devices. Suggest more physical play alternatives as well. For even better sleep, take advantage of sleep aids such as nature sounds and a comfortable bedroom temperature. And make sure not let the kids use touchscreen devices a couple of hours before bedtime.

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