One of the best ways to avoid disputes before bed is to create spaces in the home where tech is stored at night and agree a time at which everything is put away. Ideally, we should be switching off devices at least one hour before bed and charging them out of bedrooms, as it’s a sure-fire way to eliminate the temptation to scroll. If you feel that won’t work for your family, you can always agree to charge devices in bedrooms, but these should be out of sight and out of reach. The temptation will still be there, but they’ll have to step out of their warm, comfy duvet to start swiping!
Android and iOS devices have some clever screen time apps which allow you to track and control how much you use your phone at night. Lots of students use ‘downtime’ or ‘app shut-down’ features to stop specific apps, such as social media ones, from working around 60 minutes before bedtime and this nudges them to start winding down.
‘Night Shift’ or ‘Night Mode’ can also be turned on before bedtime. This will adjust your child’s display so it gives off less blue light (which can make it harder for them to sleep).
Many young people say to us they wake up to hundreds of notifications, so switching on ‘aeroplane mode’ or ‘do not disturb’ and turning off notifications can help reduce interruptions during the evening and into the night.
Involve the whole family
Let’s be honest – it’s not just children that struggle with managing digital distraction at night. Lots of students are massively influenced by their parents or carer’s digital habits and so there’s no better time for you to switch off from work emails or social media before bed and practice some self-care too.
Being a good tech role model is not easy, and the occasional slip-up is nothing to worry about. Start by making small changes to see what works for the whole family and then do them consistently.