In the news today is stated that so many children are not getting enough sleep, due to being glued to TVs and tablet computers and more than half of youngsters aged between 2-11 do not have a regular bedtime. The damage this is causing is serious. Digital overloading has led to a ‘crisis’ in sleeping habits, experts have warned. It is also affecting physical health, being linked to obesity, a compromised immune system, repetitive strain injuries, stooping, bad moods, forgetfulness, sleep walking and talking and other behavioural problems. Researches quizzed 2,064 adults who care for a child aged two to eleven. They found that 57% of children (aged 2-4) ot less than the recommended 11.5 hours. Children in primary school got even less than the recommended hours (shildren aged 7 and under should get about 10.5 hrs and 11 year olds need 9.5 hrs)
Poor parenting has also been cited as a cause for this trend, since four out of ten children are allowed to watch TV or use a tablet in their bedroom, while a quarter are not read a bedtime story. Even TV programmes now use distractive images, moving swiftly to another, which is creating further deficiencies in their attention spans. ie, their brains are being re-wired away from the natural rhythms. (Awake at sunrise and retire by moonlight.)
The surveys also found that only 61% of children aged 2-4 had a regular bedtime routine. I remember in the long hot summers of yesteryear, we were sent to bed at 6pm even when the sun was shining through the windows!
For those who did stick to such a routine, the most popularly recorded elements consisted of a bath, story time, a hot drink and discussion about their day, but it appears only one in five experienced this and then just once a week.
If the little ones cannot be prised from their treasured technology, we’ve designed something to help them use it to their (and their parents’) advantage and to address the sleep problems. The Mind Manifesto Sleep Easy programme has been getting 5/5 in the online reviews internationally for “doing what it says on the tin”, and comprises audio MindTracks to ease you into a deeper, more ‘efficient’ sleep. Use it as a prelude to rest if you feel stressed, have only a few minutes for ‘catch up’ or for “rebalancing” yourself during a hectic day, or as a natural antidote to fitful sleeping.