Are you ready for a little bedtime story? It goes something like this:
Caden get off the computer and get to bed! You’ve got SCHOOL tomorrow!
Silence…but palpable tension in the air
Caden when I count to three you better be in your bed with lights out!
Mommy, I’m not tired!!!!
One….. <insert exasperated tone>
But Mommy, I’m hungry [said with cookie crumbs stuck to milk mustache]
So you want me to DIE of starvation?
Sidenote: I usually recant at this point and feed the child once more, but to hurry this story along we’ll just move to:
At this point the little angel is tucked into his bed, lights out and head slightly under the covers. I go to shut the door but stop short. There is a strange glow coming from under those sheets, right near my sweetie’s head. I discount a halo, because he’s actually not THAT angelic. No, no the little devil has his Nintendo DS hidden under there.
Is this story familiar?? Have you heard it before?? Now if this were a Choose Your Own Adventure type of book, like I read as a child (without an e-reader, no clicking here nor there) I would take a moment to choose my next move wisely. If I were to choose yelling and screaming along with snatching the DS, I would turn to page 67. Page 67 involves the dog barking, the Dad yelling and all roads lead to hell. A sleepless, red- eyed HELL.
The problem is this: He’s not tired. You are. He must get to sleep. So you can get to sleep. Who REALLY needs more hours of sleep. Doctors will say children, but I’m skeptical. I need way more sleep than my little soldier, hands down.
So let’s rewind a bit. The child isn’t tired because he’s been on a schedule similar to a rock star’s all summer. We partied all night and slept all morning…because we could. It was nice while it lasted but now school is upon us and Mama is looking for a job. We have to be responsible folk and get to bed sometime before midnight. It had to happen.
I did a little research and found out something interesting about how computer screen time affects our brains. Kids aren’t lying when they claim they aren’t a bit tired after shutting down their computers or snapping shut their handheld devices. Consider a quote taken from THIS article:
“Although any type of light stops you feeling sleepy, research has shown that light towards the blue end of the spectrum is especially effective at keeping you awake because it suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Unfortunately, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, flat-screen televisions, and LED lighting all emit large amounts of blue light, and so it’s important to avoid them before bedtime.”
The article even suggests that you wear amber-tinted glasses if you absolutely have to use your electronic devices before bedtime. It is proven to improve sleep quality and mood. However, if you don’t want to invest in the amber glasses, then just get in the car, head to the library, and pick up a REAL book!! And those REAL books, with their musty smells and torn pages, have just the magic to tire out little eyes. No stimulating blue light lurking there. E-books, take that!