Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital kids, family life, parents and technology

Get Better Quality Sleep With a Centralized Home Charging Station

From a MakeZine Activity.
Check out this MakeZine Activity!

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.

A Google search for charging stations gets you started, or you can begin with this Mashable post, 10 Chic Charging Stations.

Charging station at Pottery Barn.
Charging station at Pottery Barn.

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 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)

Posted in digital parenting, media and sleep patterns, media diet, parents and technology

Can Healthy Media Intervention Improve a Child’s Sleep?

association sleep patternsThe results of a study published in the September 2012 issue of Pediatrics indicate that parents may be able to positively affect a preschooler’s sleep patterns by making healthier and more educational choices in a child’s media diet.

The journal article, The Impact of a Healthy Media Use Intervention on Sleep in Preschool Childrenexamines whether healthy media interventions in the lives of preschool children can improve sleep patterns. Researchers at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute explain how they conducted a randomized controlled study to discover if the sleep of preschoolers might be improved when families were helped to replace inappropriate and sometimes violent media content with a healthier and more educational media diet. This article is freely available or read the abstract.

The study, which included 617 children and their families from the Seattle area, used two-phase sampling (defined below). In the first phase researchers selected the clinics in the Seattle metropolitan area, making selections that reflected Seattle’s demographic make-up and including providers that served Medicaid patients. In the next phase, researchers invited preschool patients (and their parents) from those clinics to take part in the study. Patients and who met the guidelines for inclusion and agreed to participate were then randomized into a control group (this group received usual pediatric care) and an interventional group (researchers suggested media changes to these participants).

At the beginning, a survey asked everyone about sleep habits, and the researchers classified into categories. Additional information about each child’s media exposure was collected at 6, 12, and 18 months. Of the 617 families who completed the initial sleep survey questionnaire, 565 completed at least one follow-up survey.

Continue reading “Can Healthy Media Intervention Improve a Child’s Sleep?”