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Screen Your Screen Time

From the moment we wake up to the time we go to sleep, we’re staring at screens a lot — up to 12 hours a day, according to recent reports.

Decreasing screen time can lead to better health, researchers say, including more sleep, improved academic performance for children, and lower risk of obesity. To help you and your family limit your screen time:

  • Remove devices from the bedroom. According to a recent survey, 95 percent of Americans watch TV or use an electronic device before bed, which can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
  • Set some ground rules. Many households have no rules regarding time spent on devices. Establishing some time limits for devices, placing restrictions on screens during dinner or while the kids work on homework — can curb screen time significantly.
  • Make it a game. Next time you sit down for a family dinner, suggest that everyone stack their devices on the table. The first person to reach for their phone has to do the dishes.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, pubmed.gov, medlineplus.gov, geekwire.com, Harvard Health Publications, American Academy of Pediatrics, Sleep Foundation

This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.

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