Excess Screen Time Blamed for Daytime Snooze in Classrooms

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Despite attempts in making technology more creative and helpful in the classroom, there is a potential danger at home. Too much screen time is causing children to fall asleep during class sessions. Teens especially are becoming increased victims of this phenomenon; spending at least 9 hours per day online.

Dr. Debra Hall Parkinson in an article says that the optimal amount of sleep for younger children is 10 to 12 hours per night and for adolescents, eight to 10 hours each night.

Scientists and governments are also empathizing with parents about this issue. Among the list of problems include:

  • Slower development in social and life skills.
  • Mental & cognitive issues.
  • Decrease in physical health (weight gain specifically)
  • Anxiety issues

Why are kids addicted?

Did you know that as early as 2007, a formula was created for phone addiction?

Since then, social media apps have been a major factor in keeping students from getting enough sleep. I.T Specialists have become more and more creative developing interesting features that has had students hooked and somewhat distracted. Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and Snapchat are some of the popular social apps being used by students today.

However, there’s another factor that has had students so enchanted by their devices. These devices offer an escape for various situations, such as abuse, social or family issues. Biblical Economics Consultant, Steve Lyston says that children are very sensitive, and what you think they don’t know, they know.

What do the students miss in class?

Teachers are forced to repeat lessons in class countless times, due to the inattentiveness of their students or should I say students sleeping on the books. Quite often, students miss the major part of their lesson, because their brains shut down, as a result of lack of sleep.

In a study by Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), children who reported more than two hours a day of screen time got lower scores on thinking and language tests. Additionally, brain scans conducted revealed that kids with lots of screen time had a premature thinning of the cortex. This is described as the outermost layer of the brain, which processes different types of information from the senses.

Previous studies tend to focus on technology such as the television and video games, however, as more newly developed technology concepts emerged, researchers have shifted their attention to smartphones, IPADS and other electronic devices compatible with the internet.

Solutions

On average, adults spend 9 hours screen time a day, mostly on the cellphone. It’s hard enough separating an adult from their phones. It’s almost like trying to pull away a pacifier from a baby; not as easy as it sounds. Even with that fuzzy-headed feeling, twitch in the eyes or mild arthritis in the fingers, they’ll continue to use these devices. So imagine how difficult it is to reduce the screen time for a child?

Google’s former ethicist, Tristan Harris, admits that technology must be redesigned with a more human-nature approach; as well as regulations must be enforced to curve this issue.

There are apps, in which one can use to restrict a child or one’s self, like FINGBOX. Some researchers encourage reducing the amount of screen time as a solution to this and many other associated issues.

Dr. Debra Hall Parkinson encourages parents to also take a different approach in helping their child/ward reducing their screen time. These include:

  • Developing good homework and study habits.
  • Establishing a sleep routine early.
  • Talking to children.

 

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