Experts continue to express concern about digital devices and sleep, and children, with their ever-present mobile phones and tablets, do not always get an adequate amount. Ditto for many adults. Check out my sleep resources at the bottom of this post.
One idea that improves a family’s sleep situation markedly, according to parents and pediatricians, is the concept of a centralized charging area — a space away from bedrooms where family members store and charge digital devices for overnight.
Where a digital device is charged is a health issue for 21st Century children.
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, 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.
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.
One of my favorite charging stations is the red box at the top right of this post, a nifty do-it-yourself craft project made from a filing box. Click on the image link and check it out at MakeZine.
Twenty-first century parenting demands are unending and sometimes difficult to solve, but introducing charging stations into a home is a simple and elegant solution that addresses sleep deprivation issues for everyone in the family.
Other than ensuring a child gets all of the recommended vaccinations, supervising good sleep is just about the best thing a parent can do for a child’s health.
A Few Resources on Sleep Deprivation and Digital Device Screens (repeated from the previous post)
I’ve just finished re-reading The Price of Privilege, a 2008 book by Madeline Levine. Last week at a professional development event at my school, I heard Dr. Levine speak, while taking nearly three pages of notes and recalling some of the parenting strategies my husband and I used when our daughter, now out of graduate school, was in middle and high school.
Almost every concern that Dr. Levine raised — perfectionism, discontent, and insecurity — is familiar after years of parenting and teaching. I especially like her descriptions of effective parenting. Most importantly, when I read her book four years ago and reread it again last week, I thought about sleep and how much of a priority it needs to be for parents and children.
After the lecture my husband and I thought back to our daughter’s middle and high school years, considering all of the things we did well or could have done better. In the process, we remembered the emphasis our family placed on getting enough sleep and eliminating computer screens each evening — sometimes to our daughter’s chagrin. Continue reading “Is the Price of Privilege too Little Sleep?”→
To make a positive difference in the quality of your household’s sleep, consider purchasing one or two charging stations where family members’ phones and other devices can be charged at your house. Install charging stations away from the bedrooms of family members. A Google search for charging stations gets you started, 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 affect sleep. I received a new Solitaire game app, and I started 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, but when I put down the phone, it took me a long time to settle down. The fourth night I did not play, and sleep came easily. Lesson learned.
Parents need to be vigilant about the amount of sleep their children get each night. In fact everyone in a family needs to be aware that pre-bedtime gadget habits may decrease the quality of nighttime sleep.
Part of the problem is that people stare at very bright screens just before bed or go to bed with glowing screens surrounding them. Another issue is that people, including adolescents and teens, leave devices on at night while they are sleeping so phone calls and text messages often interrupt sleep. This is risky behavior for everyone, but especially for adolescents who need sleep to learn effectively and grow.