It is widely acknowledged that the use of screen-based devices before going to bed can interfere with melatonin production, delaying and interrupting sleep through brain stimulation. But research, carried out by King’s College London and Cardiff University, suggests that just having a device even when switched off in a child’s bedroom can cause sleep disruption.

Researchers accessed data from 11 studies involving at least 125,000 children to find out if technology was impacting on the quality and duration of sleep. They found that using smartphones or tablets before bedtime doubled the risk of disrupted sleep and doubled the chances of feeling tired the following day.

But noticeably, researchers discovered that sleep was significantly disturbed by the presence of devices even when they are turned off – almost to the same level as actually using the gadget – suggesting that they should be removed from bedrooms altogether to improve sleep. Researchers believe that because of the ‘always on’ nature of the technology, children are in a continuous state of stimulation even when they are not in use¹.

Since 2013, Smartphone ownership has jumped from four in ten for 12 year olds to almost seven in ten for 13 year olds2. This rapid increase in the number of children owning mobile phones is a cause of concern amongst health professionals. The Department of Health (DH) recommends that children under 16 should use mobile phones for short, essential calls only3. World Health Organisation (WHO) specialised agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has reviewed the carcinogenic potential of radio frequency fields, as from mobile phones in May 20114. WHO continues to promote research into the potential health effects in children and adolescents. Several studies are underway5.

 

Fitting an R2L to the back of your child’s phone is an easy way to help protect against the long-term effects of radiation. The R2L does not affect call quality. R2L works with any mobile device, including tablets and laptops that uses 3G and 4G service to connect to the internet. Visit www.screen2bsafe.com for further information, to watch a lab testing of R2L and to place an order.

Sources

¹http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/10/31/smartphones-and-tablets-in-bedrooms-disrupt-sleep-even-when-swit/

2 http://www.rfexposurelab.com/http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-use-attitudes-14/Childrens_2014_Report.pdf

3 www.mobilewise.org/facts/how-safe-are-mobile-phones-for-children

4 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

5 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

Shara has been active in the scientific community for over 30 years. She started as a member of the British Association of Young Scientists at the age of 15, obtained her first science degree at 21 and her Immunology PhD at 25. She has been a research scientist and lecturer in prestigious institutions around the world [including Addenbrookes' Hospital (Cambridge), The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (London), The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) and The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (London)]. Shara left mainstream in 2001 research to follow her passion of science communication and established Euroscicon Ltd in 2001 and Mums in Science in 2005

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