Are electronic screens staring into you or your child’s eyes until moments before dozing off? There’s a growing body of evidence that these electronics can fool our brains into thinking that it’s daytime! Some research suggests that bright lights before bed can throw off our melatonin production and our circadian rhythms. We are just simply biologically hardwired to be awake when there is light. No wonder they may cause toddler sleep problems!
So why does this matter to us a parents? Frequently parents use a television show to help their children wind-down, and more and more parents are now reading kids nighttime books on the iPad. However, these nighttime rituals could be making bedtime more difficult for them…and you! Electronics and sleep don’t mix.
So I’d recommend implementing good sleep hygiene, and ban bedside electronics for everyone in the household, especially if your kids are having trouble falling to sleep. Try switching them to reading a book before bed. If it helps, you can blame it on me and say, “The Sleep Lady says no more TV or iPad right before bed.”
So here’s a list of great activities to incorporate into your child’s bedtime rituals to help prepare their bodies for a good night’s sleep (3 from this list is plenty):
- sing a short song
- play a quiet game
- share three things about your day
- tell a story
- listen to music
- baby or toddler yoga
- reading books
- prayers, blessings, or sending kisses and love to other people
- plenty of hugs and kisses
If you’d like to read more about electronics and sleep, check out this article from CNN.
Photography by Henriksent on Flickr