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Kid’s Corner: How Screen Time Affects Kids’ Sleep

Your body and your brain need sleep. During sleep, the brain sorts through and stores information, replaces chemicals and even solves problems while you snooze.

Most kids don’t get enough sleep. Kids ages 5 to 12 need nine to 12 hours of sleep each night. Not every child is the same, and some need more sleep than others.

Remember the last time you didn’t get enough sleep? That heavy, groggy feeling is awful, and when you feel that way, you’re not at your best. Without enough sleep, kids can feel moody, tired or cranky. It might be hard to pay attention or follow directions. Schoolwork that’s normally easy may feel impossible, or they may feel clumsy playing their favorite sport or instrument.

One more reason to get enough sleep: If they don’t, kids might not grow as well. It’s a fact: Too little sleep can affect growth and their germ-fighting immune system, which keeps them from getting sick.

Electronics Before Bed

According to Dr. Gwen Dewar’s Parenting Science website, researchers believe that electronic media – especially when used at bedtime – put kids at risk for sleep trouble. Why? There are several reasons:

Reducing Screen Time’s Effects on Sleep

Here are some ways you can reduce the negative effects of screen time on your child’s sleep, from the Australian parenting website RaisingChildren.net.au:

We also recommend printing and trying this worksheet to troubleshoot issues you may be having, as well as this printable bedtime routine.

More Links to Help You and Your Child Rest Easier