If your kids spend their nights using cell phone when they should be rather sleeping, it’s an intimidation that your kids can affect their grades, health and social life.
The issue seems thorny at the first glance, and no doubt, it’s not something that parents can ignore, but with some tools available, parents can easily ensure that smartphones wouldn’t interfere with their kids’ sleep.
Smartphones and bedtimes—a reckless combo
The sleep deprivation that results from cell phone use has some scientific reasoning, especially during night time. There are several negative consequences of using a cell phone close to bedtime. These are a few problems that late night smartphone-use can have on kids.
- Less sleep: Well, it’s not just the games, social media and memes that keep kids up during night, it’s also the bright screens that disrupt the optimal melatonin production—a hormone necessary to initiate the sleep cycle. Letting kids have a complete access to their cell phone all night can distract them over and again, if a new text or notification pops up during their sleep—starting the whole process all over.
- Poor sleep cycles: As aforementioned, bright glow of the screens can interfere with melatonin production, which in turn, can give the whole sleep cycle a hitch. This light from the screen confuses brain into believing that it’s still daytime. This can make our bodies tired as we wouldn’t be getting enough sleep.
- Poor grades: When your kids won’t be able to pay attention during the day, when they have their school, it’s very obvious that your kids grades will affect due to persistent habit of sleeplessness. It’s not unusual to see many kids nowadays, spending their first few lectures sleeping. The loss of attention and focus can lead to some serious performance degradation. Also, keep in mind, that school is an important place for social learning, and if your kids would be feeling groggy all day, no one is going to be interacting with them.
- Health degradation: Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to poor immunity. Other effects include headaches, and caffeine addiction to curb off the pain and restlessness. In the worst case scenario—kids can have attitudes that resemble ADHD.
How to limit nighttime cell phone use?
There are many easy ways to to keep tabs on your kids cell phone-use. But this is something teens wouldn’t like much due to their “privacy concerns”. But there a few potential solutions that can avert the unpleasant showdown. Take a look:
- Smartphone contracts: Smartphone contracts can be written down before handing over kids their first cell phone and can include all the rules around using different kinds of digital devices that your kid may have access to. You can set specific rules, like “No more phones after 10 PM”, or something similar. Make sure to reward or punish your kid after appraising their allegiance to the contract.
- Focusing on alternative activities: You can set up different activities before bedtime that can make cell phone-use less tempting. Family games or other board games that don’t involve screen glow should be preferred that allows for more face-to-face interaction.
- WiFi Controls: You can simply cut off your kids’ Wifi access at night which is easily provided by many major wireless routers manufacturers. If there are no parental controls available on your Wifi connection, you can use an app like TrackMyFone that can do the same, but in a more specific way.
- Prepaid minutes: You can also get your kids a prepaid cellular package that will directly limit their cell phone use, as kids would know that they will have to wait for the next month If they run out of limit.
Lastly, remember! Every kid is different and some may find no difficulty with putting their phones away and going to sleep. So make sure, you do try to talk to your child first, before taking any other stringent step.
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