Technology has become a ubiquitous feature of our lives today – it is almost impossible to live device-free in this digital age. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and TVs, children are constantly surrounded by digital devices of all sorts daily. In fact, your children may be considered as ‘digital natives’ – a term used to describe the generation who are growing up in the era of ubiquitous technology. As parents, you probably see your children using their devices often at home – before heading to school, after mealtimes, or during their study breaks. But what if they are also getting some screen time before bed? Should it be a cause for concern? This article explores whether parents should be concerned if their kids are using their devices before bed.
Catching Some Shut Eye or Catching Up on Social Media?
Parents, think about this. Do your children always look tired or sleepy in the morning? Do they constantly complain when they have to wake up for school?
Well, their phones might actually be the culprit behind this. Ideally, children in primary school should be getting at least 9 hours of sleep every night to function optimally.
Unfortunately, it seems that many children in Singapore are not getting sufficient sleep – according to a study conducted by NTU and NUH, results showed that 57.6 percent of children (between the ages of 6 to 9) got less than nine hours of sleep on a school day.
The same study also looked at what the children did before going to bed, and the results showed that the most popular activity that they engaged in one hour before bedtime was watching TV (74.6%), followed by the use of smartphones (58%), and the use of computers (30%).
How Technology Affects Your Child
Many researchers have studied the effects of kids using their devices before bed and results have shown that looking at the screens of their phones for several hours could lead to them having more trouble falling and staying asleep, sleeping for fewer hours than the recommended duration, and a higher likelihood that they feel sleepy during the daytime.
Unfortunately, that’s not all. When your children have poor sleep, it could affect their eye health as well.
According to a research study, it was revealed that those who sleep for less than 5 hours possess higher risks of myopia (short-sightedness) compared to those who sleep 9 or more hours, which has previously been established as the ideal number of hours of sleep that your child should get. This shows how important it is for our children to get sufficient sleep every night to prevent such problems from occurring. Having an adequate amount of sleep does your children a world of difference for their health.
How can we ensure that our child gets enough rest?
If you think that your child’s phone is the reason behind why they are not getting adequate sleep, it’s time to step up and manage their device use. Of course, simply asking your child to stop using their devices before bed is easier said than done.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered – planoApp may be just the solution for you.
planoApp is the first science-based parental control app that can help you to manage your child’s screen time. As a parent, you can set no-device use times, which is one of the functions of the app. Let’s say your child usually sleeps from 10 pm to 6 am every weekday. PlanoApp can be used to lock your child’s phone during this period to make sure that your child cannot access their phone at a time when they are supposed to sleep.
Alternatively, you can utilize the remote locking function to lock your child’s phone immediately at any time and from anywhere. This means that even if you are not in the same room as your child, you can make use of this function to ensure that they are not using their device in their bedroom.
All of this may sound very overwhelming but rest assured, every step goes a long way. Taking the first few steps towards managing your child’s screen time before bed will help them in the long run.