SOURCE: Stony Brook University, news release, Sept. 4, 2014
FRIDAY, Sept. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic devices can keep kids up at night and should be banned from the bedroom, according to experts from Stony Brook Children's Hospital in New York.
Devices like tablets, smartphones and video games can prevent children and teens from falling asleep, which can have a negative effect on their school performance. Even if kids are not using them, backlit electronics can interfere with a good night's sleep, the experts said.
"The burst of light from a phone [even if it's just to check the time] can break a sleep cycle," Dr. Jill Creighton, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Stony Brook, said in a university news release. "A regular alarm clock is best," she added.
Although every child may have different sleep needs, the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that preschoolers get about 11 to 12 hours of sleep each day. Meanwhile, school-age children should sleep at least 10 hours per day. Although adults need about seven or eight hours of sleep, teens still need nine to 10 hours of sleep daily.
Almost 72 percent of young people between 6 and 17 years old have at least one electronic device in their bedroom, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey. Kids who leave these devices on during the night sleep up to one hour less on average each night, the group found.
There are some steps parents and caregivers can take to help kids "unplug" at night and get a good night's sleep. Creighton provided the following tips:
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides more information on the importance of sleep.