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Screen time and sleep for older children

As you child gets older their sleep patterns will begin to change, but it is still important that they get enough sleep to feel refreshed and stay healthy.

You may notice your child staying up later at night and sleeping longer in the mornings or being more difficult to get out of bed. It is beneficial for your child if you try to maintain a good routine around sleep and help them develop good ‘sleep hygiene’.

Screen Time

Electronic devices are known to emit blue light which may affect the body’s natural sleep cycle. The nature of some games and social media content can also be stimulating to the mind. In order to allow the mind to settle and be ready for sleep, it is advised that screens are avoided 60 minutes before planning to go to sleep. Reading or listening to music and audio books are activities which will help prepare your child for sleeping.

Sleep hygiene refers to the practises we have around bedtime and the things we do to get our bodies ready for sleep such as:

  • Having a regular bedtime.
  • Winding down in the hour before bed, relaxation and promoting calm.
  • Having a suitable sleep environment (right temperature, darkness, free from disturbances)
  • Avoiding stimulating activities before sleep (exercise, a heavy meal, caffeinated drinks).
  • Limiting screen time.

In general excess screen time is linked to a reduction in physical activity.  There should be some limits set about agreed access to screens during the day for children and young people.

It is important to note that some interactive games are ways for children to socialise but they also need to be aware of online safety. There have been recent concerns around the rise of gaming/ online addiction and more information about these topics can be found below.

Who can help?

For more advice about screen time and sleep in older children speakl to one of our team. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Older children (aged 11-19) can ask advice from a school nurse by texting our confidential ChatHealth service on 07480 635 443.

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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