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Digital Age Children Have A Tougher Time Sleeping

Lauren Surbrugg | March 03, 2016
Are your children getting enough sleep? It seems in this day and age that everyone is a bit sleep deprived, and the sleep statistics are in place to prove it, which is just a bummer. Good quality rest makes for a much better life! And while we may try and blame our child’s sleep deprivation on the stress of school or extracurricular activities, the real culprit may be too much exposure to digital media (kind of ironic that you’re learning about it through said media).


Constant Connectivity Causes Sleep Deprivation

We aren’t here to tell you that using computers or smart phones are causing you poor health, but we are telling you that using a digital device close to bedtime can cause problems when it comes to falling asleep. The always-plugged-in mentality is sweeping our nation, making us believe we need to know everything as soon as it happens and that sleep can wait. Unfortunately, this is causing a ripple effect on children that shows good rest is not highly valued in life. Children need quality sleep in order to have a fully functional brain for great success the following day.


Sleep Statistics About Connected Children*

  • 43 percent of children aged six years to 18 years have a computer or TV in their bedrooms.
  • Children need between nine and 10 hours of sleep each night but average between seven and eight hours. 
  • 77 percent of teenagers use a computer within an hour of going to sleep.
  • Using the computer or watching television prior to bedtime causes a reduction of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and keeps the brain stimulated.
  • Sleep deprivation may increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

“Junk sleep” is a term used by sleep scientists to describe how digital technology affects our sleep patterns and causes interrupted sleep that then leads to poor daily productivity and performance. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog about how you and your family can avoid junk sleep.

*Reference
Hurd, R. (2012 May 15) Why Kids Can’t Sleep: Growing Up in the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://dreamstudies.org/2012/05/15/why-kids-cant-sleep-growing-up-in-the-digital-age/