Your Student’s Screen Time: Should you be worried?

In today’s digital climate, smartphones, iPads, tablets and so on are attached to our students. Their attention is easily wavered by the flash of a screen or the ding of a notification. But keeping social is important for all students and today, the majority of it is done in the online world. Whilst keeping up with the latest trends or scrolling through Facebook feeds may feel like a necessity to students, what is more important is their sleep.

Screen time before bed promotes bad sleeping habits and develops an unstable sleep schedule. In playing a game or talking to friends through a screen before bed, students can find it harder to fall asleep. This delay in falling asleep then translates to a lack of sleep. A student who doesn’t get enough sleep one night, can turn into a grumpy, unenergized student in the morning.

The issue is the blue light rays projecting from these devices. Whilst the pixels and screen may be clear and HD, the blue light rays not to so much. These little rays trick us all into thinking it is still daylight, when in fact it is probably 9:30 pm. Obviously, this again delays students in falling asleep but at the same time, students also lose the routine of a peaceful down-time.

Experts suggest that 90 minutes before bed, turn off the blue-light monsters. Encourage students to read a book, instead of watching the same version of events in a Netflix series 15cm away from the face.

Additional solutions include removing the device from bedrooms at night. In placing the device in the kitchen or communal area away from the student, it limits the exposure to the blue-light. An extra advantage of this move is that the constant notifications and dinging all night will stop. Your students may moan and groan that the cord between the hand and its mother device has been severed, but it will make for a better night’s sleep.

Taking away or reducing the blue-light, sleep-depriving monsters from students won’t be easy. You may have a grumpier student on your hands, but on the bright side, they will be better rested. Since they’re better rested, students will find it easier to get up and get going full of energy for the academic day ahead.