Wellness, general

Wellness focus – Gadgets disturb proper sleep

rechargerChristian is a typical socially active teenager. In today’s world that means he is now a “screenager” who spends an average of 6 – 7 hours per day looking or interacting with a technological gadget with a screen: a TV, a computer, a tablet, a cell phone, a video game. Of growing concern is the newer social media habits of leaving their gadgets turned on during the night and repeatedly having their sleep interrupted by incoming messages, tweets, etc. Sleep disruptions, difficulty getting back to sleep, optical stimulation of lights at night all contribute to poor sleep outcomes.

Growing children need plenty of rest to develop properly. Although pre-school children need close to 12 hours of sleep per day, children in grades one to twelve need 9 to 10 hours per day. How many kids are getting that proper amount of sleep? The hours of sleep you need is the time nature needs to regenerate the body from today’s use. In growing children they also need extra time for growing more tissue, getting taller, larger and physically mature. Only as working adults can we get by with 7-8 hours of sleep. (Oh, you’re not even getting that?)

One easy solution is to build a docking station for all your personal gadgets, but locate it in the kitchen or den, far away from the bedrooms. Limit the hours spent per day on any and all gadgets to 90 minutes for teenagers. Delay exposing pre-school kids to screen devices, let their bodies be involved in their imagination plays.

Today’s world has embraced the technological and information age but at a price to be paid in lost health, but that we hope will see a resurgence of responsible daily physical activities. Enjoy all those gadgets but in moderation, as in all good things. Stay fit and be well.

Yours in real life,

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