In the current age of technology, people spend increasing amounts of time in front of screens. While electronics can have a variety of educational and developmental benefits for children, being in front of a screen before bed can affect sleep. The stimulation that comes from screen time can be the cause of wake-ups during the night among children.
When children watch TV they respond emotionally, not logically. These emotions can stay with children for up to two hours after the event that first elicited the emotion. Children can even become addicted to screen time and can exhibit a “fight-or-flight” response in an effort to keep the TV on.
In addition to affecting emotions, the blue light from screens has a physical effect on humans. Electronic screens emit blue light. Many studies have shown this blue light can curb the release of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep. A reduction in melatonin makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you are working on sleep routines and screens are a part of your evening routine, consider moving screen time from after dinner to the morning.
Here are some more bedtime tips:
1. Empower your preschooler to be part of the process of working towards new boundaries for sleep.
2. Set the expectations and give your child specific, attainable jobs at night. (ex. Your job is to lay down and work at going to sleep)
3. Discuss what your job is as the parent.
4. Let them know that their favorite show will be available to watch at another time, but no longer at bedtime.
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