The temptations of TV, games and the internet during the evening are harming children’s sleep quality, which is in turn impacting on their academic performance, according to experts at a Delhi sleep conference this week. While hi-tech entertainment in the evening might seem like an ideal way for kids to relax after a busy day of schooling, it actually results in an environment with a number of factors that are simply incompatible for a restful sleep later on.
Over exposure to light – specifically blue light that mimics natural sunlight – excessive noise and generally over-stimulating the mind with fast-paced and mentally-demanding tasks all effectively tell the body that it’s daytime and energy is needed. While this buzz of excitement fuels a fun-filled gaming session, the energising effects last long after the TV is switched off, and it’s this slow transition to relaxation that lead to staring wide-awake at the bedroom ceiling and losing out on valuable sleep time. The morning after a night of poor sleep will invariably be a difficult process, where mental and physical energy reserves are low and the rigours of a day of school become particularly problematic.
“Parents should keep a check on their children’s TV viewing habits,” said Sunil Mittal from the Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS), speaking at a preliminary event before International Sleep Day on Friday March 15th. “The presence of a television set in the child’s bedroom may be a contributor to sleep problems.”
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