Sick Kids Need Sleep, Not Video Games

Sick Kids Need Sleep, Not Video Games

There are many joys and pains that come with raising children. The daily life of getting them up, out to school, back home, and sleep, is the standard routine for any family. However, sometimes life will get in the way and your child becomes sick. They have to stay home and become restless. It may be tempting to let them play video games, but there are real reasons why you need to keep the child in bed. This article will look at the following: quality of sleep, resting, and mental strain.

Video games distract from sleeping

It’s no secret that video games have negative effects on the sleep quality. This issue affects kids as well as adults. According to Mattress Advisor’s research, more screen time is associated with fewer hours of sleep and poorer sleep quality. The LED lights on the child’s handheld device or TV can trigger activity in the brain, making it harder for the mind to calm down and begin the sleep process. Even if the child falls asleep, it might be a light sleep or short nap at best. It won’t be the several hour sleep needed to fight off an illness. The body needs to be still and not distracted to heal itself quickly. As such, it’s important to remind the child that video games can wait for another day.

Playing video games may impede rest

The next reason is similar to the first. Resting is nearly as important as sleep. When playing video games you are sitting up and focused on the game in front of you. Children may start moving around as they get more immersed in the game. Swinging the controller around, mashing buttons, and/or getting upset because of a Game Over creates a distraction for the body. Laying in bed nice and still is the best remedy to illness, but when your child needs something to entertain themselves, try one of these restful alternatives:

  • Create a pillow fort full of blankets and books
  • Give them a bubble bath
  • Read to them or listen to an audiobook
  • Get out the Play-Doh or Legos
  • Paint each other’s faces
  • Fill out a coloring book

If all else fails, turning on the TV for a little bit of calming entertainment won’t do too much harm and can actually help your child wind down.

Mental Strain

This last point goes hand-in-hand with the previous two points. Video games can be very mentally intense. When you’re a child trying to recover from an illness, trying to solve a tough puzzle or make a time limit can be a major distraction. The brain will much more concerned with what is going on in front of you and not the illness plaguing the body. The mental strain can actually cause the illness to get worse, depending on how immersed the child becomes and how long they are playing. Mental relaxation is important to a swift recovery. Stress only impedes it. Explaining this to your child and maintaining a consistent policy can help overcome resistance.

Being ill is unpleasant, but proper rest and sleep accelerates recovery. But of course, unless your child is very sick they won’t be able to sleep all day — they’ll want something to do. Offer quiet entertainment like reading, coloring, or even watching limited TV can help deter boredom. As a parent, reassure your child that they can play the games again when they’re feeling better — this can serve as motivation for them to get better as soon as possible.

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