August 27, 2014 12:09 pm

Cut screen time before sleep to prepare for school: pediatrician

WINNIPEG — It doesn’t sound like it would be part of a bedtime routine, but for many teenagers, staring at screens is how they fall asleep.

“Sometimes I don’t go to sleep at all … because I just stay up on my phone,” a teen shopping at St. Vital Centre admitted on Tuesday.

Doctors are encouraging kids to get into a good routine before heading back to school, stressing the importance of a good night’s rest.

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READ MORE: Time to get back into a school sleep routine

Often teens spend time checking social media and texting their friends before bed, which keeps their minds stimulated and can disrupt their sleep.

“I don’t think children should be going to bed with the iPad on their pillow and on their cellphone sending texts all night long,” said Stan Lipnowski, a Winnipeg pediatrician.

Lipnowski explained that especially in their teen years, sleep is crucial to help kids learn.

“Once they hit puberty, that’s a huge growth spurt,” he said. “They need to be able to build their bones and their physical stature. That happens with rest.”

Teachers are now starting to set up their classrooms and prepare for the arrival of their new students. Grade 6 teacher Fernando Dalayoan suggests that parents can help kids settle back into the school routine by limiting the technology they use before bedtime.

“Technology is a source to help you with learning. It’s not there to replace your thinking.”

READ MORE: How to balance school demands with screen time limits

© Shaw Media, 2014

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