A poll conducted for Time4Sleep, an online bed retailer, has revealed that 38 per cent of parents regularly cave in to pressure to allow young children to stay up, watching TV or playing video games after 9 pm, rather than making them go to bed. The study has also discovered that electronic equipment, such as TVs and computers, give off “blue light” which causes disrupted sleep.
Blue light regulates our secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Put simply, when we are exposed to blue light, we limit the production of melatonin, and we stay alert and awake; in the absence of blue light, melatonin production is increased to enable us to sleep well.
This may be the reason why 19 per cent of the parents interviewed in the poll are woken at least twice in the night by their children. Jonathan Warren, the managing director of Time4Sleep, says: “We would encourage parents to choose activities such as a bedtime story or warm bath before bed to help their little ones wind down.”