Sleep is an essential part of development and wellbeing for our children. A well rested baby/child is important for learning, emotions, and behaviours. However - babies/children are continuing to struggle with getting adequate sleep.
One of the leading causes of interrupting our children’s sleep are electronic devices.
Screen time in the hours directly prior to sleep is problematic in a number of ways other than just displacing bed and sleep times for children. The content of the screen time, as well as the light that these electronic devices emit, are also responsible for poor sleep. The increased exposure to these light emissions in the evening hours (or before naps) is increasing alertness in children, making it very difficult to settle for sleep.
Bright light disrupts the body’s natural occurring circadian rhythm by suppressing the release of melatonin, which is a very important aspect of maintaining, and regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
Sleep needs to be a priority, for both our children, as well as ourselves.
So what can we do to help our children with separating screen time before sleep?
Very likely the most obvious step, is to limit screen time for your children. Turning off the devices (tv included) at least 1 hour prior to sleep time, will make a huge difference in a child’s sleep habits.
Screening what children are watching close to sleep, is also a big step. Exciting shows, or video games cause your body to push the production of adrenaline, which suppresses the production of melatonin.
Replace screen time with reading time. Reading is a great way to build a child’s speech development, and also allows the production of melatonin to happen before sleep is required.
Sleep is complex, and can be a tricky task to take on independently. Reach out for help, I would be happy to chat!