Keeping children away from electronic devices like TVs and computers is nearly impossible. That is why many parents simply give up on the mission and agree to put such electronics in their kids’ bedroom. However, scientists warn that this may have a really negative effect on children’s quality of sleep, school performance and even their memory.
A research of the University in Helsinki, published by HMC Public Heath, argues that televisions, PCs, laptops and electronic devices, in general, are potentially harmful for kids’ health. One of the biggest problems with them is that they can disturb kids’ sleep if placed in their bedroom.
To prove that researchers decided to focus their study on kids aged between 10 and 11 years. That was because, like it is with teens, sleep it very important for the physical and mental development of pre-teens.
What the experiment showed was that kids, who have a computer or a TV in their bedroom, tend to go to sleep later in the night. That was due to the fact that they were too engaged into either playing PC games or watching television. According to scientists, boys showed higher engagement with these devices. As a result, they tended to go to bed much later than girls.
In addition, researchers from the University of Helsinki believe that the limited physical activity required for computer game playing and TV watching also affect the late bedtime hours of children. When kids spend nearly the entire evening staring into a screen, their bodies grow tired harder.
Namely, the screens of TVs and computers are yet another factor that hinders children to enjoy a good night sleep. Even when they finally go to bed, kids that are exposed to too much electronic devices, struggle to catch a wink. According to researchers, this is because of the light of the displays which can trick the brain into thinking that it is daytime.
However, electronic devices in children’s bedrooms do not only cause sleep problems. They affect the memory of kids and their ability to concentrate. Thus, they can often become responsible for poor school grades and even to lead to serious behavioural problems.
The study concludes that, in order kids to develop and grow into healthy individuals, parents avoid putting distracting electronic devices in their bedrooms.