That Handy Tablet May Be Ruining Your Toddler’s Sleep
Researchers have recently uncovered that your “touchscreen toddler” might be getting less sleep. While parents might be reluctant to hand their toddler a device, like a smartphone or tablet, they might want to think twice. Devices can keep kids occupied and the terrible two’s or three’s at bay, but what is it doing to their sleep?
A study conducted by the University of London recorded the habits of 715 parents of children under three years old. “The study asked how often their child played with a smartphone or tablet, and about the child's sleep patterns. This showed that 75% of the toddlers used a touchscreen on a daily basis, with 51% of those between six and 11 months using one, and 92% of those between 25 and 36 months doing so as well. But children who did play with touch screens slept less at night and more in the day. Overall they had around 15 minutes less sleep for every hour of touchscreen use.”
However, researchers also tell parents it’s nothing to get stressed out over. While devices like tablets and smartphones can interrupt sleep patterns, they also promote and help develop fine motor skills. So, they might not be the best thing for you kids to play with all of the time.
What Should You Do?
● Limit the amount of time your toddler can use the device.
● Set boundaries and don’t give in.
● Do not let toddlers play with devices at least one hour before bedtime. The less time they have in the evening the more sleep they are likely to get.
Just be aware of your kid’s playtime. Kids need all sorts of play. From dramatic play with props and costumes, to blocks and books, and yes - sometimes they need motor skill building games on the tablet.
For more amazing news on all things sleep, check out the rest of NuSleep’s awesome advice on Holy Sheets!
- Romell Bhaala