With so many different electronic devices in our lives, it’s easy to get distracted and use them for extended periods and inappropriate times. Concerns about overuse abound, but one of the most significant issues is the way that digital devices keep people, young children, and especially 21st Century preadolescents and teens from getting enough good quality sleep.
To improve sleep habits in your house, consider purchasing or one or two digital gadget charging stations where family members can charge phones and other devices. Locate the charging stations away from the bedrooms.
A Google search for device charging stations gets you started (Amazon sells quite a few), or you can begin with this Mashable post, 10 Chic Charging Stations.
I recently discovered, in a small way, just how a cell phone screen can disrupt sleep. I received a new Solitaire game app, and began playing two or three games on my iPhone just before bed several nights in a row. A few games grew into 20 or 30 minutes of play, and for three nights in a row, when I put down the phone, it took me a long time to settle down and get to sleep. The fourth night I did not play, and sleep came easily. Lesson learned.
One of my favorite charging stations is the red box at the top left of this post, a nifty craft project made from a filing box.
Twenty-first century parenting demands are unending and sometimes difficult to address, but introducing charging stations into a home is a simple and elegant solution that can help lessen sleep deprivation issues for everyone in the family.
A Few Resources to Read on Sleep Deprivation and Device Screens
- Gadgets Stealing Sleep – NBC 5, West Palm Beach, FL
- Teens and Sleep – National Sleep Foundation
- The Impact of a Healthy Media Use Intervention on Sleep in Preschool Children – Pediatrics
- Need More Sleep? Turn off Gadgets and TV Earlier – Newsweek World
- Born to Be Wired: Cell Phones Creating Sleep-Deprived Teens – Alabama TV station
- All that Tech is Hurting Your Sleep, Researchers Say - CNET
- Cell Phones and Sleep – WebMD
- Can’t Sleep? Turn off that Cell Phone – Time
- More than 4 in 5 Teens Sleep with Cell Phone on or Near the Bed - Pew Internet Report Teens and Mobile Phones
- One in Three Adults Sleeps Less than Seven Hours Says CDC - CNN