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Put Your Screen Down, and Just Walk Away…

 

Seriously, the evidence is mounting that the use of electronic devices before bed is causing sleep disruption by suppressing the body’s production of melatonin due to the bright blue light emission. That’s a biological issue. Even if you switch your device to a night time mode, there still seems to be some interference.

I know, I know…that next episode of your favorite, or new favorite, series that automatically will start in five seconds is going to be so good… That’s a whole separate behavioral issue.

Wait, wait…just one more check of my social media timelines; there might be something that’s really important for me to check and respond to… Really?

When we, as adults, have a difficult time separating from our screens at night (or in general), how do think our kids can do that on their own?

Since we know that sleep is critically important for general functioning, in life, it’s a key reason why we recommend to parents that they remove the screens from their child’s room at a designated time at night. Have a charging station in a separate room; maybe your bedroom to discourage late night social media checks.

While there’s ample evidence that continues to hit the popular media about the dangers of screen use, we continue to be surprised by the number of parents who we work with who are resistant to removing the screens from their child’s room. Will the child be upset? Yes, initially, and especially if they have become habituated to having 24/7 access, but the improved sleep quality and quantity is worth that fight.

And while you’re at it…put your screen away at least 30 minutes before bedtime too…

For more information or strategies to help manage screen time, contact us at klass@utk.edu or 865-974-6177.

 

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