Sleep is an important part of our daily routine. It is essential that we have adequate sleep and that our rest is undisturbed. In theory the day can be divided into thirds; 8 hours sleep, 8 hours work and 8 hours play. It would appear that life is becoming busier and that the pressures and business of school and work infiltrate our personal lives to an extent that valuable rest is being stolen.

According to the Sleep Foundation our sleep needs vary according to age and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. Basically the younger you are the more sleep is required.

I recently read an article by Michael Carr-Gregg that included statistics on sleep. Typically teenagers believe they require two to three hours sleep less that 40 to 50 year olds, however, research states that teenagers require the same or more sleep than adults. Students that have access to mobile technologies are at risk of sleep deprivation due to their desire to communicate, collaborate, create and consume media.

Sleep deprivation is commonly known to increase irritability and contribute to cognitive impairment. Lack of sleep can significantly impact memory retention and result in decreased reaction time and accuracy. Furthermore, poor sleep hygiene can increase risk of diabetes and impair the immune system. Quality sleep improves health and well being and therefore it is essential that action is taken to remove things that cause sleep deprivation.

Children typically lack personal discipline and therefore parents need to take a proactive approach in protecting the well being of their children by eliminating sleep distractions. Digital technologies are renown for interrupting the sleep cycle. Most young people are keen to access social media to see who has responded to their posts and made contact by replying to statues updates and 'Liking' Instagram uploads. The interest can become an obsession and even an addiction. In extreme circumstances fixation on social media, gaming and the like can create emotional tension, anxiety and depression. Technology can stimulate the mind and is a virtual steroid that can result in sleep deprivation.

Access to tablet technology stimulates the senses. Gaming and social media can evoke a myriad of thoughts and emotions. It is important that technology is put to rest at least an hour before designated sleep time. This will ensure the mind is programmed for quality sleep. To ensure a pleasant nights sleep, mobile devices should be disabled or set to silent and all digital technologies for work removed from the bedroom. According to numerous psychologists, Australian Governmental agencies and councils access to phones, slate technology (ie; iPads) and PCs should be prohibited from a child's bedroom.

Reclaim your sleep time, do yourself a favour and...



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