Electronics in the Bedroom: Why it’s Necessary to Turn off Before You Tuck in

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Date:
Monday, March 3, 2014
  • fewer hours of sleep per week and report more daytime sleepiness [2]. 
  • Adolescents with a bedroom television have later bedtimes, more difficulty initiating sleep and shorter total sleep times [3]. 
  • Texting and emailing after lights outs, even once per week, dramatically increases self-reported daytime sleepiness among teens [4]. 
  • Not all electronic usage is recreational as the burden of homework is great for many of our children and their work is often completed on the computer, a significant light source late in the evening. 
  • Increased academic demands, busy social and extracurricular schedules and the lure of entertainment conspire to keep our children electronically engaged at night. 

Many children are not fulfilling basic sleep requirements and adequate sleep is essential for growth, learning, mood, creativity and weight control.  Understanding the influence of light and evening engagement on sleep is the first step in helping parents address the dilemma of electronics in the bedroom. 

Citations:

  1. Figueiro M, Bierman A, Plitnick B, Rea M. Preliminary evidence that both blue and red light can induce alertness at night. BMC Neuroscience 2009;10(1):105.
  2. Eggermont S, Van den Bulck J. Nodding off or switching off? The use of popular media as a sleep aid in secondary-school children. J Paediatr Child Health 2006;42(7-8):428-433.
  3. Shochat T, Flint-Bretler O, Tzischinsky O. Sleep patterns, electronic media exposure and daytime sleep-related behaviours among Israeli adolescents. Acta Paediatr 2010;99(9):1396-1400.
  4. Van den Bulck J. Adolescent use of mobile phones for calling and for sending text messages after lights out: results from a prospective cohort study with a one-year follow-up. Sleep 2007;30(9):1220-3.