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Screen Time and Its Impact on Children's Sleep


Child using screen device in bed

We are all guilty of doing this: We've had a huge day at work, picked up the kids and have arrived home for the gruelling evening routine- dinner, prep, bathing kids, homework supervision, organising the washing and other household duties before we can take a breath putting the kids to bed and relax... So we plant the kids in front of a screen- tv, tablet or phone, just to get some peace and concentrate on the task at hand. While these devices can offer educational benefits, excessive screen time can significantly impact children's sleep health and overall well-being.


The Impact of Screen Time on Sleep

Research indicates that excessive screen time can disrupt sleep patterns in children, leading to various health issues. Screens emit blue light, which interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This delay in melatonin release can make it harder for children to fall asleep and result in less restful sleep overall. Additionally, engaging with stimulating content before bedtime can increase alertness, further hindering the ability to wind down for sleep​.


Cognitive and Behavioural Effects

Excessive screen time not only affects sleep but also has cognitive and behavioural repercussions. Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to increased risks of depression, anxiety, and behavioural issues in children. It can also impact cognitive development by reducing face-to-face interactions, which are crucial for developing communication and social skills​.


Practical Tips for Reducing Screen Time

  1. Set Screen Time Limits: Establish clear rules about the amount of screen time allowed each day, especially before bedtime.

  2. Create a Screen-Free Bedroom: Remove electronic devices from your child’s bedroom to create a sleep-conducive environment.

  3. Encourage Alternative Activities: Promote activities that don't involve screens, such as reading, playing with non-electronic toys, or engaging in outdoor play.

  4. Model Good Behaviour: Children often mimic their parents, so it's essential to set a good example by limiting your own screen time, especially before bed.


The Audio-Only Approach of Sleeptime Therapy®

Recognising the adverse effects of screen time, Sleeptime Therapy® consciously chose an audio-only approach for its activations. This decision was made to encourage children to drift off to sleep without unnecessary visual stimuli. With Sleeptime Therapy®, once the relevant story and activation are selected—often done by the parent—the device can be locked and placed away from the child. This allows the child to listen to the story accompanied with soothing music and frequencies to engage restful brainwave function, and embark on an imagination-igniting journey with Sleeptime Therapy® characters, receiving gentle, empowering affirmations to their subconscious, all without the interference of screens.


Finding Comprehensive Solutions

Addressing sleep and screen time issues holistically can significantly benefit your child's overall health. By integrating tools like Sleeptime Therapy® into bedtime routines, you as conscious parent can help mitigate the negative effects of screen time while promoting better sleep and emotional well-being.

If you're looking to support your child's sleep and reduce the impact of screen time, consider exploring Sleeptime Therapy®. Start transforming your child’s bedtime routine today by downloading the Sleeptime Therapy® app.


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