Mummy, I am so sleepy!

Sleep deprivation among Singaporean children.

Guess how many hours of sleep do Singaporean children have nightly? According to 2015 study conducted in one of the universities in Singapore, 4 out of 10 children between 6 and 9 years of age are sleep deprived. Top college students are sleeping less than 6 hours per night. Read the news link.

One of the research studies published in 2014 reviewed that adolescents in Hong Kong have adverse impact on their sleep after viewing electronic devices. Why electronic devices affect our sleeping pattern?

Solar emits short-wavelength visible light (blue light) in the daytime to keep us awake. Melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone allows us to fall asleep at night. When there is a high concentration of blue light, melatonin depletes. Hence, the electronic devices that emit blue light will keep us awake through out the night. The more we expose to the blue light after sun down, we are unable to fall asleep till later time.

What are the benefits of melatonin?

1. Feeling happy

2. Good quality of sleep

3. Good eating habit and diet

4. Weight control

5. Less risk factors of systemic diseases

6. Good memory

How can our children sleep better?

1. Dim down brightness of electronic devices during the daytime for children viewing.

2. Visit your optometrist to prescribe your children blue light blocking eye glasses.

3. Encourage your children to read printed books.

4. Use yellow instead of LED for reading light.

5. Avoid electronic devices 2-3 hours before your children’s sleeping time.

6. Spend time outdoors with your children. Natural bright light boosts children to sleep at night.

7. Use #OrthoK contact lenses. Children are “force” to go to bed once they wear Ortho-K contact lenses at night. No electronic devices are allowed for viewing!

More melatonin. Less blue light.  

Author and photo source by #SG #optometrist, Chua Yee Leen.

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