Online chatting, playing computer games or watching television at night can leave children sleep deprived and adversely affect their studies and physical health, psychiatrists said at a conference in New Delhi Wednesday.
"Parents should keep a check on their children's TV viewing habits... presence of a television set in the child's bedroom may be a contributor to sleep problems," said Sunil Mittal, psychiatrist and director of Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS).
The CIMBS and Delhi Psychiatry Centre organised the conference ahead of the International Sleep Day March 15.
"Sleep depreciation could result in a reduced ability to learn and think fast," Mittal added.
According to doctors, the problem is worse in working Indian adults."Surveys have found that almost a third of Indian working professionals sacrifice sleep to fit in personal and work commitments," said Rosely Jacob, clinical osychologist at CIMBS, adding that insomnia could lead to increased risk of automobile accidents and alcohol abuse.
An average adult requires around eight hours of sleep daily but teenagers and children require even more, she said.
Ensuring that bedrooms are conducive to good sleep can be of great help."Ensure that your bedroom is dark, comfortable, cool and quiet," said Mitali Srivastava, clinical hypnotherapist. In addition, avoid late afternoon or evening naps or worrying about future problems or challenges when lying in the bed, Srivastava added. "Stay away from large meals and excessive fluid, especially caffeine," the clinical hypnotherapist suggested.