Maybe your children have the energy to stay awake late at night, but for sure, the human body does not. The circadian control responsible for regulating our biological cycle is completely sensitive to light. Researchers say the human body doesn’t understand we need to sleep until the lights are off.
Looking back in time, technologies were invented to create conditions to keep people awake, such as candles and lamps. Now, TV screens, computers, smartphones, and tablets can extend the time we stay awake even more. It’s common to lay in bed and check messages, emails, and social media before going to sleep.
Exposure to multiple screens late at night can become a real problem and have negative effects on adults, but for children, it’s even worse. Mobile devices emit blue lights, which prove to be one of the most effective things in inhibiting melatonin secretion, our sleep hormone. Even the color of the pages your children access can impact their quality of sleep. If the page has a higher level of blue components, you’ll find it will take your children a little bit longer to fall sleep.
To help you ensure your children are getting better sleep, we’ve listed a couple of tips below:
1. Use warm lighting
When reading bedtime stories, or even watching the last video of the day, turn on a small lamp with warm light in the room. The warm light is less disturbing to the human body at bedtime resulting in your child falling asleep more quickly.
2. Turn off devices one hour before bed
Using smartphones and tablets before bedtime can delay sleep for more than two hours, doctors say. The ideal scenario is turning off all digital devices – including all smartphones and tablets – at least one hour before putting children to bed. This can be really tough, but you can get assistance by using great tools to schedule a time to deactivate your child’s device at exactly the time you want.
3. Set a bedtime routine
If your children are teenagers, it’s important to let them know how beneficial and healthy it is to keep a consistent and appropriate bedtime. Explain to them how sleeping less can influence their mood, behavior, and emotional well-being. A good tip is to set a routine. If your child is a teenager, and complains about going to sleep earlier than his/her friends, you can always negotiate weekdays or weekends where they’re allowed to stay up later than usual.