Dear Dr. Lisa,
With a new school year just around the corner, I am trying to get the kids back into their routine, but I am running into a big issue and have a question about bedtimes and tech use. How do you actually get your kids to willingly give up their devices at bedtime, when they say that they are listening to music to relax and fall asleep?
Thank you so much,
Dear Sleepy Mom,
This is such an excellent question and one that applies to kiddos and parents alike. It is very common for people to now use music from their cell phones as a pseudo sound machine to help them sleep at night. The issue with using a cell phone instead of an actual sound machine is that it can be tempting to go on social media when our phone dings or browse the web if the music doesn’t do the trick right away. It can also actually lead to more disturbed sleep as the blue light emitted from the cell phone impedes restorative sleep by interrupting your brain’s natural patterns.
My opinion in this matter would be to introduce a sound machine into the bedroom and to use this instead of the cell phone. In addition, I recommend that you charge all cell phones and other devices at charging stations OUT of the bedroom to further reduce the likelihood of cell phone use at night. If you’re worried about this because you (like many!) use your cell phone as your alarm too, invest in a sound machine that also has alarm capabilities. If this is out of our budget, find yourself an old school alarm, they are typically under five dollars at Walmart or Target.
I hope this helps and that you and your kiddos can start the school year off right..starting with lots of restful sleep!