Does your child sleep with their phone at night?

18 Jul 2018
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Take control or be controlled – which one are you?

Should children have phones in their rooms at night? This was a debate on Channel 5’s Wright Stuff this morning – there is so much evidence that it disturbs sleep which affects so many aspects of life:

  • The standby light inhibits the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy) – this affects concentration, mood, ability to absorb new information, cognitive ability, energy levels, memory consolidation, brain toxin clearance, habits, and more
  • The very act of having a phone in the bedroom keeps the brain switched on to it which means it doesn’t switch off properly for effective rest
  • If left on, the ‘ping’ of a new message puts the brain on alert even through sleep, and there is evidence that teens will prioritise answering texts/messages no matter what time of the night.
  • The urge to turn it on first thing and check messages and social media, before even getting out of bed, puts the brain into an immediate stress position, releasing cortisol (stress hormone) which is already naturally heightened in the morning
  • It builds hyper-dependency – the idea that they cannot go anywhere without their phone becomes habituated and reinforced
  • It gives them access to games and apps without any monitoring – the only tell tale may be a sleepy child and behavioural issues. In last week’s news, an 11 years old girl has been admitted to an addiction unit after she got hooked on a game called Fortnight, even sitting in her own urine because she didn’t want to stop the game.
Some of the biggest tech giants like Apple and Facebook have admitted that they have created a problem, Apple now has an app to help people not use their phones so much, and one of FB’s founders has said it is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
Technology has changed our world, but it’s up to us to be in control of it and not the other way around.  And coming from someone who remembers life pre-mobile, that’s something we need to teach our children.
If you need help controlling your habits, anxiety or stress contact me for a chat to see how I can help you regain balance 01798 344879 or

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