June 18, 2020

Strike a Healthy Balance Between Sleep & Screentime

In‌ ‌work‌ ‌and‌ ‌play,‌ healthy‌ ‌sleep‌ helps you shine. Concentration, accuracy, attitude, learning, and memory all improve with a consistent bedtime routine.  

Our partners in whole child health at the U.S. Soccer Foundation understand this. That’s why every student-athlete who participates in their Soccer for Success program receives coaching on healthy sleep habits, too.  

Like schools and other youth-serving organizations, Soccer for Success shifted from local soccer fields nationwide to virtual, video instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The unprecedented need for screen-based learning and social connection amplifies the importance of finding balance between our devices and our well-being. While it’s true that blue light, stressful news feeds, and mindless scrolling can negatively impact our natural sleep cycles, technology can be a useful tool in building a better sleep routine. 

Here’s how Healthier Generation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation are encouraging kids and adults to stay digitally connected while minimizing sleep disruptions. 

  1. Incorporate movement-based screen breaks throughout the day. Physical activity helps to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. 
  2. Use smartphone “bedtime” reminders or a regular alarm clock to help stick to a nightly schedule. 
  3. Set a daily time limit for social media and news apps. Some social media apps have built-in accountability features to alert users when the allotted time is up. 
  4. Reduce stress by replacing nightly news or social media scrolling with a free meditation app, podcast, audiobook. Or go tech-free with a hardcopy book or journal.  
  5. Find a free white-noise app to block out nearby, noisy disruptions. A simple pair of inexpensive earplugs will do the trick, too!  
  6. Power down devices at least an hour or two before bedtime. Families can make this commitment together to improve everyone’s sleep quality. 
  7. Set electronics away from where you sleep so it’s less convenient to check for messages or scan social media when you can’t sleep.   

What are your favorite tips and activities to help families improve sleep quality and quantity? Share with us on Twitter at @HeathierGen.