Memorial Day Weekend is coming up! Whether you are planning an outing with family, BBQ with friends, or spending the weekend chilling on the beach – we all know celebrations are lovely, but they’re also a disruption of routine. As fun as national holidays are, they usually entail later nights, and sometimes even earlier wake-up calls as kids are so excited for a day of fun ahead!
Additionally, while sometimes there’s nothing better than having a day off work or school and slumping on the couch with an electronic device – be it a tablet, phone, or good ol’ television – is this actually a great way to ‘switch off’, or are we doing more damage than good?
It’s a pretty well-known fact by now that the blue light from screens is unhealthy for our retinas. Staring at the light from screens also affects our circadian rhythms, which in turn affects our sleep patterns. The light blocks our bodies from producing melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’ – making a decent night’s sleep harder to come by.
As adults, we may have trained ourselves to function on less sleep – but try reasoning with an overtired toddler or a moody teenager and you may well be on a mission to lessen screen time, and create a more serene bedtime experience for your family!
How can we do this?
1 Set family schedules: Start preparing for bedtime in advance – give you and your kids some downtime to unwind, and let them know when bedtime is approaching. With the FamilyKeeper parental control app, you and your kids can plan a healthy schedule together to know how long they can spend on screens and what time all electronic devices should be turned off and put away.
2 Find alternative activities: As bedtime approaches, enjoy activities other than a screen that will get your kids in the mood for bed. A bubble bath is always an optimum choice! You can also get out a good bedtime story to snuggle up with.
3 Avoid pre-bedtime stimulants: This one is a little harder when you may have been feasting on ice cream, s’mores or other popular treats over the holiday period – but it’s important to avoid substances like caffeine and sugar before bedtime, as these can over-stimulate the body and make falling asleep far more difficult.
4 Bedtime battles beware: Don’t let bedtime descend into a battle. Often, chatting just before bed is the best time to unwind and talk over the day. Be present for your kid – whatever age they are at, if they are feeling relaxed before bed, this may well be the time they want to open up and speak to you about any worries or concerns.
So this Memorial Day, make sure your family enjoys some screen-free time, and experiences the relaxing night’s sleep you all deserve!
For more information on the FamilyKeeper parental control app, check out www.familykeeper.reasonlabs.com.