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Sleep problems harming academic progress


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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