Screen Time Linked to Less Sleep: Ditch the Phone and Try These Foods to Sleep Better

A new study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, warns that if your child has a habit of playing games on smartphones before going to bed, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese due to lack of sleep.

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Screen Time Linked to Less Sleep: Ditch the Phone and Try These Foods to Sleep Better

Highlights

  1. Exposure to increased screen time may cause lack of sleep
  2. This lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and childhood obesity
  3. The study was published in the journal Global Pediatric Health
A new study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, warns that if your child has a habit of playing games on smartphones before going to bed, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese due to lack of sleep. The new findings revealed that children who used digital devices such as watching TV or playing games on smartphones before going to bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who did not.

This lack of proper sleep not only caused fatigue and attention problems in school, but also disrupted their eating habits leading to higher body mass indexes (BMI). "We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs," said Caitlyn Fuller, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University in the United States.  "We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we're seeing a loop pattern forming," Fuller added.

The study examined the sleep and technology habits of 234 children, aged between eight to 17 years.  According to the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should create boundaries around technology use, such as requiring their children to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night. Besides this, you can try giving your kids the following foods during bedtime to help them sleep better.

1. Warm milk: This is the best remedy for disturbed sleep as per Ayurveda. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid which converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to induce calming effects in the brain.

2. Cherries: Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin. It is known to regulate your sleep and wake cycles and control the internal body clock.

3. Honey: Give your kids a tablespoon of honey for a good night's sleep. The natural sugars present in honey increase the insulin levels in our body and allow tryptophan to enter the brain which releases chemicals that relax the body.

4. Bananas: Bananas can help bring a satisfying sleep because they contain magnesium and potassium - both of which are natural muscle-relaxants. They are also packed with the good carbs that make you feel sleepy. 

You can also let them chomp on few almonds and walnuts. Both these nuts contain tryptophan that is known to calm and relax your mind. 

 

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