Children sleep less at night with electronic devices switched on

A new survey has revealed that children, aged between 6 and 17, sleep less when they leave their electronic devices switched on at night.

ANI| Last Updated: Sep 07, 2014, 20:09 PM IST

Washington: A new survey has revealed that children, aged between 6 and 17, sleep less when they leave their electronic devices switched on at night.

Jill Creighton, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stony Brook Children's Hospital, said that the key to a successful school year started with Z's and so parents needed to power down their kids at night.

He further added that parents should develop a night time routine for their child, like taking bath, reading a book or listening to soothing music, which would help them relax before going to sleep and screen time should be replaced with the activities like a 20-minute family walk, shooting hoops outside, walking the dog and doing household chores (with the promise of an allowance).

Creighton continued that the hour before bed should be a no-electronics zone as studies showed that the light from backlit electronics (like tablets, smartphones and video games) could disrupt the ability to fall and stay asleep.

She further suggested that parents should designate a spot in their home for electronics to be plugged in, and then let kids start their bedtime routine by plugging in one hour before lights out.

Last of her advices was to establish good habits, unlike the habits like being distracted by phones, hand-held devices and TV shows during mealtime, which cannot only lead to overeating, but additional unneeded screen time.

Newborns need to sleep 16-18 hours a day, preschool-age children need 11-12 hours a day sleep, school-age children need sleep at least 10 hours a day, teens need to sleep 9-10 hours a day, while adults (including the elderly) need to sleep for 7-8 hours a day.