Is the iPad Causing Your Child’s Sleepiness?

We talked last week about the dangers of blue light (commonly emanating from electronics).

This week we’re looking at sleepy kids.

Take a hot minute to see what the pediatricians recommend for optimal health:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis

Yes, these are estimates and some children do well with less sleep. However, you might be surprised how much better your child would do with more sleep.

There are a host of possible causes for your child’s sleepiness but let’s focus on one—that iPad or anything electronic, including the TV in your child’s room. You knew I was going there, didn’t you?

Stay with me. I’m not judging you as a bad mama if you’ve been using that iPad or TV as a crutch. We’ve all done that to some extent. But sometimes, we need to change a few things for healthier and happier children. Hear me loud and clear, “You are doing a great job!”

Last week I encouraged you to count how much time your children are spending in front of an electronic screen. Now that you have that number, let’s begin cutting that back to more healthy levels.

I recommend only one strategy this week—cut back that total time by 25%. For example, if your child is spending an average of 3 hours (180 minutes) a day watching TV or playing games (even educational ones) on a smartphone or iPad, cut that back by 45 minutes so a daily average would be closer to 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Based on my own personal experiences, I do not recommend making severe cutbacks unless you really want to deal with the meltdowns. Be a bit sneaky about it and cut back by 25% each week. Soon, you’ll be down to safer levels. If you’re super organized, set up rewards for achieving this new healthy habit. If you’re like me and you’re not up to developing an award chart, just pat yourself on the back and say, “Good job, Mom!”

When their crying and protests begin and you feel tempted to just not worry about it, say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) over and over. It always gives me strength and it will give YOU strength.

If the Apostle Paul endured torture still trusting God to give him the necessary strength, you can trust God will help YOU.

I know what you want, Mom. You want healthy and successful children. So, set the boundaries and get them sleeping more ’cause everyone knows a rested child does better in school.

Next week, we’re focusing on other strategies to assist with better sleep.

Know someone who also needs help in this area? Please share.

‘Til next time.

 

(Photo from Pixabay)

 

 

 

 

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