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Create a healthy sleep cycle for your child by controlling her exposure to screens
Create a healthy sleep cycle for your child by controlling her exposure to screens

To help your child become an autonomous and resilient learner:

Create a healthy sleep cycle for her by controlling her exposure to screens.

In his article The Science of Sleep,  published in the August 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine, Michael Finkel talks about the amazing journey our mind takes while we sleep, and how critical sleep is to both our brains and our body.

Sleep is crucial for childhood development, learning and health. Poor sleep in kids has been linked to diabetes, obesity, and learning disabilities. While we sleep, our brain organizes the information it has absorbed during the day and consolidates new memories, both of which are critical to learning and retention. What’s more, our ability to self-regulate is also dependent on sleep: when we undersleep, we are more irritable, moody, and irrational. It is also during sleep that most growth hormones and infection-fighting proteins are released.

Unfortunately, in speaking with sleep scientists from around the world, Finkel discovered that many of us are chronically sleep-deprived due to an imbalance between our modern, technology-driven lifestyle and our innate, sun-dependent, sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to the intense blue light created by electricity – especially screens that are held close to the eyes – disrupts our internal body clock. The bluer and brighter the light, and the closer it is to the eyes, the more it will disrupt and delay sleep. For example, studies have shown that looking at a tablet can delay sleep by up to 96 minutes, while looking at a smartphone can delay it by up to 67 minutes.

Adolescents need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. So, if you want to set your child up for a good night’s sleep, be sure to turn off tablets, game consoles and smartphones at least one hour before bed time.