Technology is just wonderful isn’t it? It’s brought us a lot, especially in the past few years, but it’s also having an effect on children that, a few years ago, people may not have realized or thought of. It’s severely impacting sleep in children.
Children who have cell phones, TV’s, game consoles and so on in their bedrooms could be sleeping a lot less, with cell phones constantly waking them up with notifications from Facebook, Twitter and so on. It can affect the quality of their sleep as well, and how much sleep they actually get. Video games and TV’s can do two things, either make the brain think the bedroom is a place for entertainment, or a place of danger, both of which will prevent children from falling asleep, or getting quality sleep they need.
A recent study found that technology constantly waking children up can have a huge impact on their sleep, and the quality of their sleep, which could reflect later on in school. They found children that got another hour of sleep did much better with math problems, and also had better memory than those who had less sleep. Losing just an hour of sleep can be detrimental to children, and have an impact in school.
Now, if technology in the bedrooms of children is severely affecting the quality of their sleep, what about adults? Wouldn’t it also have an effect on their sleep? I can imagine having some device something constantly waking anyone up with messages and so on is a good thing. The study looked at children, but come on, you know it isn’t having a good effect on the sleep of anyone.
Today, with the iPhone, it has a feature called “Do Not Disturb” which can silence all notifications and prevent the phone from lighting up when notifications come through. You could also put your phone on airplane mode, which stops everything as well. There are many ways to silence notifications at night, but how many people make use of them? Especially in children and teenagers? If parents can’t get their children to utilise features like that in their mobile devices, then maybe those devices probably don’t belong in bedrooms, as doctors have been saying for quite a while now.
Here is another unintended side effect of technology. As technology gets more and more mobile, were probably going to see more of this. With all of this technology, education needs to get out there as well. People need to understand that this stuff can affect sleep, and people need to understand how important sleep is.
Dr Jennifer Vriend said in a Telegraph article, “Adequate sleep leads to better emotional stability, more positive mood and improved attention, which are all likely to improve academic success.”