Jan 18, 2021 | Parenting Advice, Parenting Teens

It is a neologism that very well defines a moment we are going through in this confinement. Vamping comes from the union of the two words vampire (vampire) and texting (action of sending text messages through electronic devices). And it refers to the abuse of new technologies before going to bed: queries from Whatsapp groups, social networks, or websites. The truth is that this phenomenon has long been alerted among teenagers, but the fact that we can not leave home and that our schedules are changing has also affected adults.

Vamping, according to experts, has negative health effects. The blue light emitted by the screens clearly affects the quality of sleep and, therefore, life in general and the ability of people to concentrate and perform. When we fall asleep, the human body secretes melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. The brain begins to produce this hormone about two hours before bedtime.

In the Sleep Unit of the University of Navarra Clinic, a large number of studies have been carried out on this in recent years, and, as they stand out, the effects are notable. If electronic devices are used with light, the brain understands that it is still daylight and does not secrete melatonin, as light stops production, so the onset of sleep is delayed, and this results in fewer hours of sleep. Ultimately, the so-called technological insomnia occurs.

Although, at first, it was a phenomenon attributable to adolescents, it is becoming increasingly clear that children are also affected by it. In the midst of confinement, as the use of screens multiplies, the consequences can be more serious. In fact, there are studies that show the lack of sleep caused by the use of screens, which greatly harm children, as melatonin production is reduced by up to 90% more than in adults.

This lack of rest affects, among other things, their effectiveness in undertaking tasks, thinking clearly, establishing memory, and reacting with agility. But in addition, restful sleep is a very important element of prevention that reduce the risk of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, or depression. And also obesity, because the blue light on the screens has been shown to increase appetite. As before, this alteration is due to the segregation of melatonin, which, when inhibited due to the abuse of the screens, causes an increase in the production of neuropeptides, which stimulate our appetite, and we demand more fatty and sweet food.

Sleeping three to five hours less than usual leads to an average of 385 more calories a day, a not inconsiderable amount that significantly affects weight gain. Therefore, we must try to establish a routine that allows, among other things, sleep between six and eight hours for adults and between nine and eleven for children. In this way, we will help preserve our health optimally during these days.

How can parents help their kids sleep better?

Well, having read this research, you must be thinking about the ways to protect kids from vamping and help them sleep better. One best way to do that is using the parental app that enables parents to lock kids’ devices at bedtime so that they can not use it at night. Luckily, with FamilyTime, parents can schedule bedtime hours and set the device to get locked automatically a few hours before bedtime. 

FamilyTime helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

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