Your home is a safe space, for you and your kids. It’s a place where you can all switch off from the outside world, forget about everything and everyone and the only people allowed in are the ones you invite. At least, it used to be. But we live in a time when everyone we know, and a whole stack of people we don’t know, are invited into our homes every day.

It’s called the internet and social media. This intrusion into the safe space of our homes is affecting our kids, and it’s time that parents step up to help them manage it.

What happens to devices at night time is a big issue for families. Should your child be allowed to play games or chat to friends online, in bed, until they fall asleep? Or should there be a cut-off time, when devices are put down?

Well, you can’t argue with science. One study found that kids who use devices at bedtime sleep less, get poorer-quality sleep and are more tired during the day than kids who switch off earlier. And it gets more interesting: further research says it isn’t just using the devices that interrupts sleep.

Even kids who have a phone or tablet device in their room – without using it at bedtime or during the night – still had that detrimental sleep quality. So you can forget blue-light filtered glasses or switching off the wi-fi. Simply having a device in their bedroom is keeping them awake.

– Megan Blandford

Read more: Turning Off is Switched On

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