Screen Time And Sleep Disturbance In Toddlers [Our Experience]

November 05, 2021

Sharing our personal experience when it comes to screen time in relation to the sleep disturbance of our eldest son.

Screen time is one controversial topic when it comes to parenting. I understand a lot of medical experts oppose gadget use by small children because they say that electronic devices have adverse effects on kids. On the other hand, most parents these days rely on gadgets especially when they are busy with house chores and work to keep their kids entertained. I can perfectly relate to my fellow parents because Mommy Khris and I also let our kids watch nursery rhymes and children’s show on tablets and smartphones but for a limited time only. In the end though, we realized that removing gadgets altogether from our daily routine maybe the best for our children.

use of gadgets and sleep disturbance in toddlers

Screen Time And Sleep Disturbance In Toddlers [Our Experience]

    Benefits of gadget use

    Before going to the reason why we are eliminating gadget use, let me just say that I’m a believer that gadget use among children shouldn’t be depicted as something that will transform them into robotic human beings. I do believe that gadget use has benefits, aside from keeping kids entertained.

    An iPad lying face down
    Photo by Josh Sorenson from Pexels

    I do want my children to be comfortable when it comes to new technology. I don’t want them to feel left out or ignorant when it comes to modern devices.

    Children’s shows have also helped my eldest learn numbers and alphabets. We used to read to him and teach him letters and how to count. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get him to concentrate no matter what we did.

    When we allowed him to watch videos on numbers and phonics (these are also his preferred shows, by the way), we were surprised because he was able to remember the things that were previously challenging for him to learn.

    We also choose the types of videos that they can watch and make sure that these are all educational. I’m happy because I received a brand collaboration with Kidloland, which meant that I have a full year of free premium subscription with this learning app.

    Just the same, we do set limits when it comes to gadget use. We allow them once during lunchtime and another dinner time, a maximum of one hour for each meal. I do realize that it’s a bit longer that what other parents allow their children to use gadgets but my two toddlers do take their time to eat, no matter how much we encourage them to hurry up.

    Why I suddenly removed gadget use from our daily routine

    Mommy Khris and I decided to completely remove gadget use from the daily activities of our children because we noticed that it has been interfering with the sleep of our eldest son. 

    An iPhone with a green screen
    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

    We noticed it since middle to late last year when our son would wake up at midnight and then go back to sleep around 4:00 AM. When we decided to restrict his gadget use for the first time, we observed that he was getting better sleep.

    By the middle of this year, we made an experiment and allowed him to use gadgets again to see if it will still affect his sleep. Honestly, we took pity on him because he seemed to be really missing his favorite shows. However, his sleep disturbance has gotten back so we thought it best for him to forbid gadget use.

    How does screen time affect children’s sleep? I made a few research and found out that bright screen can interrupt sleep because they stimulate a child’s brain. Furthermore, because gadget screens have bright lights (blue light), it can negatively affect the body’s circadian rhythm and delay the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

    I think that’s pretty straightforward so there’s no use trying to challenge what science and medicine has revealed when it comes to gadget use in children.


    While I trust that the use of modern devices has beneficial effects on children especially when it comes to learning, it’s also advisable for us parents to be observant if it has adverse impact on our kids. 

    Sometimes, we may not notice or immediately associate a negative effect with gadget use, such as sleep disturbance that’s why we have to be extremely analytical with the circumstances surrounding those occurrences.

    The effect of gadget use on the sleep quality of toddlers

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    1. Thanks for sharing this very helpful po talaga ito especially sa may mga toddlers 😍

    2. Thank you very much for this Daddy Iv. All are very helpful when it comes to parenting.
      The use of modern devices has beneficial effects on children especially when it comes to learning, it’s also advisable for us parents to be observant if it has adverse impact on our kids and I totally agree with this.