Are you finding that you are more tired in the mornings, you have probably blamed it on eating too late or being stressed with work; but could this actually be down to technology?
There are now many studies into lack of sleep and the activities we may do before we try to go to sleep, with many showing that the impact can affect anyone, especially our children. From my own experience, I know that if my phone goes off in the night, it will wake me and I just have to check that email, and if it is something important, nine times out of ten its just spam, then it may keep me awake wondering about it, or I will just get up and reply to it. When in fact there was no need it could have waited till morning.
TV & Games
Many people like to use their phones or tablets to play games upon, some say this helps them to unwind and relax, but I wonder how many of them have weird dreams about those games? I know I have, crushing candy is a tough job!
Other forms of technology like watching the TV can also affect how we sleep. For many people it actually wakes them up, especially if it is a film or programme that is intense with action or needs a lot of attention like a thriller. Again what we have watched can transcend into our dreams, giving us a more restless nights sleep.
As adults we may already know that our own bad habits for using technology before going to bed is bad and so may just have to suffer if we do not do anything about it. But alarmingly it can be our kids who follow the same pattern, that they may start to fail at school. It has been said that only 1 in 5 children get the recommended amount of sleep; for teenagers they should get around 9 hours, but most only seem to get around 7 – 71/2 hours. This is based on recent studies and compared to children’s sleep habits over a century ago. You may not think this is much, but when you look at it over a month, these children who on average are losing around 90 – 150 mins of sleep per night, which equates to nearly 50 hours over the course of a month.
Mobile Phones & Social Media
The main culprit for kids is not just the TV, but their phones. it seems like they’re using their duvet covers as a social arena, not a sleeping place. Staying up at night answering text messages or chatting with friends on Twitter or Facebook is more common. Another study of around 50 countries showed staggering results, of a group of 9-10 year olds who were taking part in Maths and Science tests. England rated number 7 with around 63% of students who were suffering lack of sleep, while the top spot went to America with a staggering 73% of children who were struggling to take part in their exams.
So to give ourselves a better nights sleep, and to help our kids do better it may be time to take away the TV from the bedroom; make sure that all mobile phones and tablets are switched off and embark on a more relaxing activity before drifting off to sleep.