Use of screen interfering in children's sleep: study


Does your child complain about not being able to sleep?

Take off your smartphone one hour before bed.

Ditto TV, video games, tablet, computer and everything else.

So maybe throw all those things in the trash.

A new article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal warns that children are sleeping less than ever, and is partly due to the use of the screen.

Sleep deprivation is being noticed in younger and younger children, a poor sign of how the brain develops during childhood. A McGill pediatric sleep expert, Reut Gruber, is quoted in the CMAJ article, pointing out that the same inadequate sleep problems associated with adolescents are appearing in younger children. According to their study, children 10 and 11 still need nine to 11 hours of sleep every night – but only half sleep a lot.

Why is this a problem?

On June 4, 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a new product announcement at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo)

Here is Professor Gruber (at on the subject: "Sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular problems. In addition, insufficient sleep has been shown to undermine academic performance, learning, memory, and essential functions for academic success. In addition, inappropriate sleep interferes with mood and affects mood regulation. "

That seems clear.

The issue of sleep raised in the CMAJ article is just one of the problems associated with over-time on the screen. There are many articles on how much screen time is too bad for kids and lately dozens more on how Silicon Valley tycoons are raising their kids without technology.

That's right – people who develop addictive games, apps and everything else stay away when it comes to their own children. Worrisome.

But it is not surprising. Any summary of how excess time on the screen can be harmful to children is usually formulated with care, but it boils down to this: in addition to being tired, your child will be overweight, out of shape, not very bright, poorly behaved and anti-social unless you your screen uses every day.

Educational shows that you watch together are fine. Brainless TV hours are not good, especially when you consider all this putrid advertising for kids – fast food, sugary cereals, plastic toys attached to movies and theme parks.

Behavioralists have already marked the alarming changes in communication skills and empathy among children dependent on technology; One of the things you're messing with if you're on a screen all day is the development of your emotional intelligence. Less human interaction is changing people's personal skills, not in a good way. It is therefore disturbing that Pediatrics & Child Health reports that, over a two-year period (2011-13), the use of mobile media among children aged two to four years has more than doubled from 39% to 80% in USA.

Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are known to have limited their children's access to technology. Last summer, CBS reported that children who are big users of video games, social media, TV and cell phones are more prone to depression and anxiety.

Speaking of anxiety, we have not even come to the connection between cell phones and brain cancer. Nevermind.

Do your children a favor and turn off the TV. Experts advise that it is best not to let anyone under two years of age develop a relationship with any screen. Read books made of paper and do not use your phone (or use the TV) during family meals.

Experts also suggest that if you can defer the whole scenario of cell phone / tablet / etc until a child is 12, you will be far ahead of the game. And probably living in Ittoqqortoormiit.

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