Screen Time & Sleep - Is my child getting enough sleep?
We know that digital technologies can be a force for good, aiding online learning, socialising and helping people manage health conditions. The flip side is that we also know that there are many dangers and problems associated with excessive screen time use too.
The UK’s chief medical officers have produced guidance for parents on this topic today and as the timing of this links with Safer Internet Day on Tuesday and the work the children have been doing at school about internet safety all week.
What does the guidance recommend parents do?
There are several clear steps for parents, which the chief medical officers say will help keep children safe and healthy.
not using phones and mobile devices at the dinner table - talking as a family is very important for development
keeping screens out of the bedroom at bedtime
talking as a family about keeping safe online and about cyber-bulling and what children should do if they are worried
not using phones when crossing a road or doing any other activity that requires a person's full attention
making sure children take a break from screens every two hours by getting up and being active
policing their own use too - parents should give their children proper attention and quality family time and never assume they are happy for pictures to be shared
As a school we strongly recommend that children do not access games or Apps above their age restrictions. Please see the Internet Safety sheet – How safe are your children.
We also recommend that screen time is limited to weekend use only, as the number of children who are affected by this seems to be escalating at quite an alarming rate. We are finding more and more that children are tired and their sleep has been affected by screen time.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is more important than you may think. Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.
NHS Sleep Guidelines
daytime: 0 to 45 minutes
night-time: 11 hours 30 minutes to 12 hours
night-time: 11 hours 30 minutes
night-time: 11 hours
night-time: 10 hours 45 minutes
night-time: 10 hours 30 minutes
night-time: 10 hours 15 minutes
night-time: 10 hours
night-time: 9 hours 45 minutes
night-time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Have a look at the handy guide below to help