- Make no mistake, while growing up in our childhood, adolescence, teenage, and adult years, more often than not we heard about the benefits of going early to bed and rising early from bed. Every elder, parent, teacher, well-wisher, and person holding some sway in society would passionately advocate the benefits of not staying awake too late into the night. In the same vein, it was also communicated in no uncertain terms the real advantages of rising early in the morning without spending much time in bed after sunrise. Even scientific evidence points to the gains of sticking to this norm for human beings since our biological constitution is more suited to play around with this time-tested phenomenon rather than become adventurous contrasting nature’s norms.
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- Of course, the modern-day information technology-driven existence where digital media hold sway is so fast-paced that many of the proven methodologies of organic living hitherto accepted unquestioningly have given way to certain practices of today that go against the well-established natural tenet. The peer pressure, competition, mad rat race, nagging desire to play one-upmanship, and urge to beat the accepted norms have indeed defined our existence. No wonder a minuscule minority of people would be still sticking to the subject matter given the challenges of the present-day world. Thus, it came as unusual for 76-year-old Maharashtra governor Ramesh Bais to want school timings delayed because kids should get their full quote of sleep.
- You will feel amazed to know the reason mentioned by the honorable governor for demanding school timings be delayed. The children’s sleep gets shortened because they are up late with their smartphones. Yes, you read it right. On sleep, the governor is right. But his solution is wrong. We know sleep deprivation impacts health, behavior, and academic achievement. The list of problems includes obesity, mental issues, irritability, depression, aggression, and anxiety. A poor night’s sleep leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can result in sleep disorders. Note that pre-teens, 6-12-year-olds are advised 9-11 hours of daily sleep. For teens, this is 8-10 hours. Given our homework-coaching institute burden, only a rare kid gets a full sleep.
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- Add to that tech-enabled distractions via tablets, phones, and laptops, the recipe for deprivation becomes complete. Indeed, that late-night smartphone bingeing is harmful is a no-brainer. Excessive use of electronic devices at night disrupts sleep patterns. Health experts recommend that TVs, light-up toys, and phones be removed from children’s bedrooms to ensure a routine sleep cycle. As such, the onus is on parents to ensure their kids don’t indulge in net bingeing. For that to prove effective, parents themselves must kick their bad smartphone habits. Delaying school timings will only add to the traffic nightmares that are so common across the country. Let’s make concerted efforts to get our kids to sleep on time at night. Parents kindly look into this!