Scientific studies have proven that male and female students need about 9 hours of sleep at night to avoid sleeping in the classroom during the day. Recent studies also indicate that staying up late weakens children’s intelligence and comprehension, while early sleep helps increase their level of intelligence and mental and cognitive abilities. Sleep is a need for all living creatures, and it is the main function of the brain at the beginning of life, as it is regulated according to the systems (balance of sleep and wakefulness) and (the biological clock), which explain the differences in sleep systems among people, and sleep plays a major role in the health of the individual and is of the same importance eating, drinking and breathing; Whereas, when a person stays awake for a long time, the sleep-wake balance system alerts the body to its need for sleep, and helps the body to take a sufficient amount of sleep during the night to regain its activity during the day.
The circadian clock is mainly influenced by external factors such as exposure to light and daily routines, as it controls the secretion of key hormones such as melatonin, which promotes sleepiness, and cortisol, which stimulates alertness; During adolescence, changes in the circadian clock often cause sleep phase delays, making it difficult for students to go to bed early and wake up in time for school. With the approaching return to school, parents play an important role in helping their children adjust their biological clock and maintain healthy sleep patterns. With the advent of technology and increasingly demanding academic schedules, students often find it difficult to prioritize sleep, as it is the responsibility of parents to educate their children about The importance of adequate rest and establishing a consistent sleep routine. This includes establishing regular bedtimes and waking hours, and creating a calm and comfortable sleep environment before bed, by actively engaging in their children’s sleep habits.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Adel bin Salem Al-Harbi, Consultant Pediatrician, Chest Diseases and Sleep Medicine, President of the Saudi Pediatric Chest Society, explained that in the current digital age, electronic devices have smoothly woven themselves into the fabric of our lives, especially the lives of students. While these tools provide comfort and communication, their presence can cast a shadow over one of the most important aspects of a student’s life, which is sleep. year, their performance, academic success, and academic achievement.
Dr. Al-Harbi explained that one of the prominent ways in which electronics affect sleep is through the emission of blue light, as this light is emitted from the screens of devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers, which in turn inhibits the production of melatonin – a natural hormone secreted from the brain stem. It is regulated by the light entering the eye – and its role in regulating the human sleep-wake cycle. This inhibition of melatonin secretion can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm, especially in children and adolescents, making it difficult for students to fall asleep at appropriate times, pointing out That dealing with electronic devices, especially before bedtime, can be mentally stimulating, and the content seen on screens, such as social media, video clips or games, can activate the brain and keep it in a state of high alertness, and thus this leads to difficulty in calming down and preparing. And fall asleep, even when the lights are out.
Al-Harbi drew attention to the fact that there are many red flags and indicators that parents and teachers should pay attention to with regard to students and sleep, including constant fatigue, difficulty concentrating, changes in mood, sleep in class, decreased academic performance, in addition to social withdrawal and isolation, and changes In terms of appetite, excessive caffeine consumption, an irregular sleep schedule, and physical health problems, it is important to recognize these signs and symptoms early and treat them immediately and consider implementing healthy sleep habits to support the well-being and health of students. And the sleep medicine consultant advised that students adopt sound health strategies to achieve a balance between the optimal use of modern technology and obtaining healthy sleep, such as preparing and preparing for sleep without using a screen by creating a buffer zone before bedtime, during which screens are put away and engaging in calming activities such as reading a book or Listening to calm audio content or practicing relaxation techniques, and making bedrooms free of electronic devices, so that this helps in creating an environment conducive to sleep that promotes relaxation, and setting a fixed routine and schedule for sleep, even on weekends so that this helps regulate the internal biological clock of the body and promotes healthy sleep patterns He pointed out that schools and teachers can play a role by raising awareness about the impact of electronics on sleep, and raising the level of educational awareness among teachers of the important role of sleep in student health and academic achievement. With the tools to make informed choices.