Today, children and teenagers live in a very different world to the one that their parents grew up in. Modern youngsters have access to everything from wearable smart devices to intelligent speakers and more.
One of the biggest trends among children of all ages is the desire to use social media. The younger generations are obsessed with checking updates about popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. By themselves, these services might not be particularly dangerous â€“ after all, they give your kids a way to stay in touch with family and friends. However, when social media usage isnâ€™t monitored and limited, it can quickly lead to problems with health and wellness.
One study recently found that teenagers using social media more than 3 hours per day are more likely to go to bed after 11 pm, and theyâ€™re more likely to wake up regularly during the night.
Reducing Social Media Exposure Before Bed
Although there are concerns around the amount of time that youngsters spend on social media these days, preventing them from using their favorite apps altogether would be practically impossible. They are at the age of growing digital socialization, where youngsters find staying in touch with their friends through social media more important than ever.
Fortunately, it may still be possible to protect children and help them to thrive by simply reducing the amount of time they spend on social media before bed.
Scientists are still studying the relationship between sleep and social media. Many researchers say that the more teenagers rely on social media, the more likely they are to suffer from insomnia, know more about the different types of insomnia here. This problem can be caused by a number of things, including increased exposure to blue light from electronic devices.
Blue light from smartphones and desktop computers can disrupt the natural circadian rhythm of the body. Because the blue light of your devices mimics the natural light of the sun, it tells the mind and central nervous system that itâ€™s time to wake up. This means that your body stops producing melatonin, the hormone crucial for sleep, and starts producing cortisol for alertness instead.
Therefore, parents can help their children to sleep more soundly if they ask them to stop using their smartphones too close to bedtime. This will help to support the natural production of melatonin in the body and make sleep easier to come by.
Overcoming Issues with Sleep Caused by Social Media
The fact that screens can delay melatonin production with blue light is one of the biggest reasons why children need to avoid using social media before bedtime. However, some kids might argue that they can switch their phones to night mode or use a screen filter to continue browsing before bed.
However, evidence suggests that itâ€™s not just the light from devices that causes problems with a childâ€™s sleep when it comes to social media. Studies have also indicated that social media can cause feelings of stress, either because a child is exposed to complicated topics that get their mind whirring, or because the youngster is afraid of â€œmissing outâ€ on conversations when they fall asleep. This feeling of stress that children feel when they use social media before bed also makes it more difficult to sleep.
Most social media channels, like Instagram, are designed to continue rewarding kids as they scroll infinitely from one page to the next. Combine this with stress, and itâ€™s easy to see how children can accidentally spend all night online rather than drifting off to sleep.
Social media might not harm children by itself, but it can reduce the time they spend on healthy recuperation, like sleeping. Because of this, parents need to think carefully about how they monitor and control social media usage in the home.
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