Going to sleep has sometimes been challenging because have a difficult time relaxing and settling down. My iPhone was complicating bedtime and probably my sleep. So about a month ago, a few weeks before New Year 2017, I separated my iPhone from my bedside, charging it about 20 feet away in a smaller room. I keep a book where my iPhone used to charge and read at least a few pages before bed.
The results after just four weeks have been remarkable. I go to sleep more easily and stay asleep because I am not awakened by dings or the phone suddenly lighting up. I don’t even get up as often in the middle of the night, and at least a few times I’ve slept straight through for five or more hours. According to my Fitbit, my restless periods have decreased by half on most nights, though that took a couple of weeks to occur. Also, I’ve finally stopped glancing in the direction of the iPhone, because it’s not there! Continue reading →
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.
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 →
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.
As parents, we make decisions every minute of the day — some based on things we really know. Others assumptions turn out to be based on things we have heard or believe. It’s the latter assumptions that cause us the most problems. In today’s media-centered world people make interesting decisions about the access their children have to television and computers, some of them based on what is known and some not.
Most people know about the need to limit television, understanding that too much TV viewing can lead to quality of life and health issues. The document, Setting Limits of Screen Time, posted at the Center for Media and Child Health (CMCH), provides ideas and suggestions with links to some of the published research about children and television viewing.