Does your child own a cell phone, an iPad or a gaming device? With the advancement of technology, gadgets were improved from simple cassette tapes and radios to more advanced DVDs, mp3s and others. The rise in technology also gave us various gadgets that almost all people own. However, not only adults own these gadgets, but children too. The advancement in technology in their generation has also led them to own gadgets that were previously owned only by adults.
Having these gadgets provides children with benefits such as more attentive learning as well as a good source of entertainment; however, these same gadgets also have some disadvantages. One of these is the disruption of sleep along with a more sedentary lifestyle because children engage themselves in games that can be done while lying down or sitting instead of doing outdoor activities.
A recent poll from the BBC indicated that children are now sleeping later at night as compared to children before. In fact, most of the 1,000 children who answered the questionnaire indicated that they go to sleep later than 10 pm. The majority also answered that they needed more sleep than they were having.
Among these children, the reasons given for staying up late included playing computer games, texting, playing with their iPads and watching television.
According to experts this lack of sleep in children may contribute to the development of behavioral problems that greatly affect their memory and concentration. As a result, children who have these devices and play with them at night may have poorer school performance than children who do not. In fact, parents should be more worried about their children’s sleep and memory more than cyber bullying when they are using these gadgets.
The Effects of Texting on Children
Among the various activities that could be done with these gadgets, texting was found to be even more detrimental for children than watching television late at night.
According to research done by Dr. Paul Howard-Jones, night time texting is in fact detrimental to children’s sleep and memory. Parents usually prohibit their children from having talks to their friends late at night, but allow texting at night, which may be more worrying. Parents began giving their children their own mobile phones for communication purposes, but failed to limit their use especially at night.
Specific effects of texting at night include:
1. It disrupts the secretion of melatonin
Melatonin is an important hormone responsible for the regulation of sleep. In children who text at night, the bright light that goes in their eyes can actually disrupt the secretion of this melatonin. The bright light in mobile phones does not signal the brain that it is already dark; hence melatonin is not efficiently produced. Texting at night disrupts melatonin regulation more than watching TV late at night.
2. It increases daytime drowsiness
Since children have poor sleeping patterns, they also may experience more daytime sleepiness even more than those who play games at night.
3. It disrupts memory
Sleeping at night helps the brain manage various memories stored in the frontal lobe. When we do not sleep efficiently at night, there may be problems in the regulation of data in the brain leading to poor memory. Children especially may suffer from memory problems because they not only have poor sleeping patterns, but have other distractions such as texting as well. This may significantly affect their school performance. If your child is in that situation, try ABC mouse which is a teaching system. Read ABC mouse review to know about its features and all.
Based on the above information, parents should take a more active role in supervising the use of their children’s gadgets, especially texting at night.
Dr. Amarendra likes to write on children and their issues at ordersciencebooks.com. He offers Naturepedic coupon. Naturepedic provides safer and healthy sleeping materials such as queen mattresses, pillows and bed sheets.