Everett Clinic pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson appears regularly on the 4 pm KING5 News to talk about the latest pediatrics studies and what they mean for parents.
In this segment, "Small screens interfere with kids' sleep," Dr. Swanson talks about kids and sleep, the wellness benefits of a good night's sleep and how to get one. Poor sleep in children can lead to obesity and behavioral problems. A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at the effects of the use of smartphones, tablets and TVs in the bedroom on sleep. It found that children get less sleep when technology is in the room: 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep (per weekday) when sleeping near small screen and 18 fewer minutes of sleep when sleeping in a room with a TV. In addition, if children are using screens near bedtime they stay up about a half hour later.
What parents can do to help kids get a good night's sleep:
- Make sleep a priority (for everyone in the family!).
- Agree on a reasonable bedtime for your child or teen.
- Create a routine for younger kids and stick to it!
- Help kids get tired in the right ways - encourage physical activity during the day.
- Don't allow caffeine after 12 pm.
- Don't allow screens in the bedroom and turn them off two hours before bedtime.
- If sleep problems persist, talk to your pediatrician.