How Touch Screens Reduce Toddlers’ Sleep

As a parent, you’re probably no stranger to the barrage of admonitions against allowing too much screen time for your kids. Obviously, vegging in front of the TV, playing inane screen games or zoning out whilst YouTube rolls out reams of ridiculousness does little for young brains, but permitting brief interludes of such passive entertainment is viewed by many as necessary to catch a much-needed break – a parental perk of living in the digi-age.

Toddler on tablet

Turns out, though, that by switching on some children’s telly or plonking down an iPad for your tot so that you can get stuff done, could be making more work for yourself come bedtime.

According to a recent study, your toddler’s screen time could affect their sleep at night.

Researchers analysed data from around 700 British families, and their findings showed that children aged 6 months to 3 years who clock more time with touch-screen devices in the daylight hours got less nightly sleep compared to those who didn’t spend as much time thumb-swiping. Also, they took significantly longer to konk out at bedtime.

Looking at other similar, yet more extensive, studies focused on older kids, the research team infers that the tech usage cuts into sleep time due to the blue-light brain stimulation, making it difficult to wind down come lights out.

So; whether you’re willing to trade those few stolen moments during Peppa Pig for a smoother bedtime, is, of course, up to you (perpetual sacrifice is nothing new in this parenting gig).