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Family Tech Tip: Putting Your Device to Bed
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that adequate sleep on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.
It is recommended that children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9-12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health and that teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8-10 hours per 24 hours.
Here are three tips to keep technology from being a distraction to adequate nightly sleep:
Establish a Storage Location
The AAP recommends that screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms. Create an expectation for when and where technology will be stored overnight in the home. Utilize a common space to store and charge devices such as the kitchen counter or the adult’s bedroom.
Create a Bedtime Routine without Technology
The AAP suggests that screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime. Set a timer to signal 30 minutes until bedtime. Come up with alternate options for your child prior to bedtime such as reading a book, playing a board game, or having a conversation.
Turn Off Network Access at Bedtime
Disabling internet access at bedtime can reduce the temptation to jump back online during the night. Routers can be unplugged each night manually or owners can set an auto timer on their routers (read through your user manual for directions). Purchasing a mechanical outlet timer is another less technical solution for putting this nightly routine in place.