I’m tired… are you? About 75% of our middle school students who responded to a survey have a smartphone that they identify as theirs. They use the phones to listen to music, participate in a variety of social media sites, watch videos, and connect with family and friends - you know, the usual. In conversation with the middle school students, I’ve informally asked what happens to their phones at night. Many claimed that Do Not Disturb (or an equivalent) is turned on at night - but the phone (or computer, or tablet, or iPad) is within arms reach.
I will admit, I sleep with my phone in my room - Do Not Disturb (DND) is turned on for the duration of my “sleep time”, Night Shift adjusts the amount of blue light my phone gives off, and I rely on the alarm to make sure I’m awake in time for my daily adventures. However, there are times when I struggle to resist the temptations of messages, emails, and notifications. The convenience of my device comes at the cost of my sleep and that one last look at my phone could mean an hour (or two) of mindless scrolling and frivolous media consumption.
In Screenagers: The Next Chapter, Dr. Dahl speaks to the importance of sleep and how screentime amplifies sleep deprivation. Dr. Walker-Harding echoes his claim and adds that sleep deprivation can look a lot like clinical anxiety or depression. It also affects thinking and concentration, weakens the immune system, and can make one moody, emotional and quick-tempered. After hearing these leading researchers and doctors speak about the importance of sleep and the impacts of not getting enough, I wonder, how can we help our kids regulate their nighttime/bedtime screen time?
On February 27th at 6:30 pm, We’ll be hosting a showing of Screenagers: The Next Chapter. Come and learn more about sleep, screens, and how to help our kids manage both.