Pre-schoolers could be more likely to experience nightmares after playing videogames before bed, a recent survey has revealed.
Bed specialist Time 4 Sleep found that children under six who frequently use a computer or games console before bed are more likely to suffer from nightmares than those who do not use a computer.
This is just one finding that came from a nationwide survey the company conducted earlier this year, speaking to over 1,000 people from around the UK. The data also revealed a possible link between playing on the computer before bed and disruption in the classroom. According to the survey, 33 per cent of children who always use the computer are disruptive at school when compared to just six per cent who never use a computer before bed.
A further finding suggested that children under ten years old who had caffeine at night were more likely to wet the bed. Only 25 per cent of children who frequently have caffeine experienced a dry night - a stark difference from the 60 per cent of children who never have caffeine.
Sleep practitioner Victoria Dawson, who set up the Children's Sleep Charity to support Parents who have children with sleep issues, has backed Time 4 Sleep's discoveries in the hope that the health of youngsters is continually promoted before, during and after bedtime.
As a firm advocate of a bedtime routine, Ms Dawson said: "A bedtime routine needs to be well planned and allow the child some time to wind down and to relax. The bedroom environment should also provide a relaxing area for children to sleep as opposed to a stimulating environment.
"Video games are highly stimulating and are best avoided in the hour leading up to bedtime, any screen activities can cause disruption to sleep patterns in children. Nightmares are very Common in children and tend to be unpredictable needing to be managed as they occur. A child who has them often is going to be tired as they are waking up in the night."
A spokesperson from Time 4 Sleep said: "We wanted to find out more about children’s sleeping habits in order to make the public more aware of how important sleep is for a child and how Parents can help."