The debate continues to rage as to whether cell phones, computers and other electronic devices are essential to our daily functioning or whether we should seriously consider eliminating these devices as much as possible due to the problems that excessive utilization of these gadgets can lead to. A new report just released from the Common Sense Media organization, titled The New Normal: Parents, Teens, Screens, and Sleep in the United States, details these troubling trends. As we always say at Natural Mental Health, “sleep is the foundation of good mental health.” We may be creating a generation of sleep-deprived teens, kids and parents and our favorite technologies may be a big part of the problem!
On one hand, there are smartphone apps that teach great skills such as mindfulness meditation and encourage physical fitness practices. In schools, many students are loaned a computer or tablet for use during the school year as a mandatory item to research topics, read textbook chapters and complete and e-mail homework assignments. Many, if not most, working adults use computers and cell phones as an indispensable part of their daily routine to support efficient task completion and effective communication.
On the other hand, excessive use of all forms of electronic media including computers, cell phones, watching TV, and playing video games can lead to a plethora of problems. Examples of such issues can be:
Recent studies have also shown that exposure to the blue light spectrum found in all electronic screens close to our scheduled bedtimes suppresses the release of melatonin (the brain’s sleep hormone) and leads to the delay of sleep onset for as long as 60-90 minutes!
New research from The Common Sense Media Organization shows that those glowing screens are keeping many of us—and our kids—from getting a good night's sleep. In a new report on device distraction, parents and teens reveal how device use affects their routines, relationships, and sleep habits—from where they keep phones at night to how often digital notifications wake them up (and why).
A brief summary of the key findings:
For more details from this study go to www.commonsense.org/the-new-normal
For general sleep tips from the Natural Mental Health Team go to www.naturalmentalhealth/sleep
For a look at the Natural Mental Health Resilience Kit For Natural Sleep which offers a solution-in-a-box for restful, restorative sleep go to www.naturalmentalhealth.com/sleepkit
Want less screen time for your kid? How's your screen time? Dig into these five key questions and action steps so that you can more effectively model what healthy screen time looks like. Learn more.>>>