The BBC has analysed NHS data which shows an continuing increase in sleep disorders in children under 14. In the last decade hospital attendances have tripled and ten times more prescriptions are being written out to help kids get off to sleep.
The reasons? Well, it’s not all down to gadgets, but they’re certainly not helping. It is thought that fizzy drinks loaded with caffeine and sugar are keeping kids awake and busy households are pushing back bedtimes. Blue light from smartphones and tablets, however, is also impacting sleep patterns by reducing the production of melatonin, which makes us naturally sleepy.
Smartphone and tablet use, which is happening at an earlier and earlier age, is also part of the reason for compulsory sex education in schools. Lessons will include information on healthy relationships, the dangers of sexting and online pornography.
Maria Miller MP, who led the campaign for sex education to be modernised, stated..
The average age of a child to have (a) mobile phone is nine, and we have to make sure that children understand the importance of relationships when dealing with the online world.
Many children will be having smart phones and it is entirely right that children of that age should get age appropriate relationship education.
So, with extra screen time at an early age and portable un-monitored access to the internet, we’re affecting the lives of our kids – when they’re awake and when they’re trying to sleep.