Sleep and the effects of Screens - Bangkok Prep

Sleep and the effects of Screens

Did you know that teenagers need 9 to 9 1/2 hours sleep per night and adults 8 hours?

It is an indisputable fact that in 2020 many of us are not getting enough sleep. More and more adults and adolescents are regularly getting much less than the minimum 8 hours required for a healthy mind and body. In his ground breaking book on the science of sleep Matthew Walker presents evidence that “short sleeping” (getting less than the required amount of sleep) is having a serious effect on our immune and metabolic systems.

Lap-tops, iPads and mobile phones interfere with our sleep. Many of us are addicted to our screens and find it very difficult to disconnect. Our children are particularly susceptible. Social media, YouTube, streaming and games are likely to stimulate dopamine, a highly addictive neurotransmitter. Teenager’s dopamine-reward systems are particularly sensitive. As a consequence parents often have real difficulty in getting their child to cooperate and turn their screens off. In this clip neuroscientist Dan Siegal explains why it is so important to turn off screens an hour before sleep time. His key point is that screens emit blue light which interferes with a sleep hormone called serotonin. This blue light tells the brain it is time to wake up. As important cognitive, metabolic and immune system tasks are performed at night we need enough sleep.

So if you want to sleep well it is important to….

Turn off all screens an hour before bed including phones and laptops.

Be a good role model-if you want your children to cooperate model sensible behaviour…

Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at other important aspects of sleep including the cognitive and physical effects and sleep hygiene. We will also be teaching the students in the secondary school about sleep with the hope that they will cooperate over bedtimes and work with their parents to limit screen times to get a good night.

If you have any concerns over this topic please feel free to contact me,


Claire Ireland

School Counsellor


Our Campus


BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110