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Expert advice

15th Mar 2024

This is why gaming should be removed from children’s bedrooms

Jody Coffey


Do you have a little gamer?

In the digital era, there’s not a whole lot more entertaining to a child than video gaming.

While gaming does come with its benefits in coordination and problem-solving skills, to name a few, experts warn that it shouldn’t be accessible from their bedrooms.

The resident sleep expert at Time4Sleep, Dr Hana Patel, informs parents that children who play video games are more likely to experience difficulty falling asleep than those who avoid them.

“Try to avoid allowing video games in the bedroom if you can, as this can cause the brain to associate sleeping areas with pleasure rather than rest,” Dr Patel explains.

“This means that every time your child enters their bedroom their brain primes itself for stimulating activities, making it harder for them to fall asleep.

She suggests keeping computers and any other devices where a child plays video games in a communal area of the house, such as the living room, sitting room, or office.

As children become teenagers, it’s likely their screen and technology time will rise, which makes the banishing of gaming devices in bedrooms the norm at an early age even more important.

The Sleep Foundation reports that devices, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, television screens, and some e-readers give off short-wavelength blue light.

This blue light is very similar to sunlight, which makes people more alert and can deceive the body into thinking it is still daytime, which can result in fragmented sleep.

Insights from The Sleep Foundation also highlighted the negative impact prolonged sleep loss can have on a teen’s emotional development.

Sleep deprivation during adolescence can lead to problems with mood, emotion, and academic performance, as well as having a higher likelihood of interpersonal issues with their peers, a weakened immune system, and some mental health conditions.