Living in a world where we have so much content available to stream provides no end of excitement. Families have their choice of content to watch, and the possibilities are limitless. However, there are a few downsides, with sleeplessness being one of them.
Being sleep-deprived leads to health problems, as well as poor academic performance. However, parental controls help you control how much screen time kids get daily. Read on to learn more about sleeplessness and how parental controls can be a significant preventative.
Sleeplessness and its effects
Sleeplessness or sleep deprivation is when a person receives an insufficient amount of sleep every night. Most adults require at least seven hours a night for optimal health.
School-going children and teenagers require more sleep. The age group that requires the most rest is school children, who may need up to 11 hours of sleep. Teenagers will usually sleep eight to ten hours.
Some of the shorter-term effects of sleeplessness include:
- Decreased quality of life that includes less participation in exercise or daily activities
- Moody feelings that lead to conflicts with friends and family
- Impaired thinking, including remembering and processing information
- Feeling sleepy during the daytime, including in class
- A general lack of alertness
Sleep deprivation can lead to long-term health effects. Impaired immune function, depression, and obesity are symptoms related to sleeplessness that may even impact children.
A leading cause of sleeplessness in children and teens is staying up too late watching content on streaming services. Whether it is Sesame Street on DIRECTV STREAM or High School Musical :The Series on Disney+ Hotstar, it can be hard for kids to know when to turn off and hit the bed.
However, there are steps parents and other carers can take, including setting up parental controls.
What Are Parental Controls?
Parental controls, in short, are a way to put what your children are allowed to watch under your control. Streaming services have vast libraries of content available on-demand, which gives kids virtually unrestricted access at all hours.
One of the things that many people love about streaming services is being able to binge-watch their favorites. Although this can be fun over the summer or the holidays, it’s not always so great on school nights.
We often think of parental controls controlling what kids watch, but not always when. Parental controls can also help ensure children aren’t binging too late on weeknights.
When kids watch some types of content too late at night, such as scary movies, this may also disrupt their sleep. Everyone requires decompression time before going to sleep but watching scary or otherwise over-stimulating content makes decompressing difficult.
Using parental controls is a perfect way to set and keep boundaries for kids in your household. You can focus more on streaming services as a source of amusement instead of disrupting your children’s schedules.
How to set up parental controls in streaming services
Although apps allow you to set parental controls across devices, your best chance of setting the types of controls your family needs is to set up the controls for each service you use individually. Here’s how to do this for the most popular services:
Netflix uses a feature called The Netflix Kids Experience to help make it easier for parents to control their kids’ viewing habits. You can set up a Kids profile in the Profile settings and use a PIN for other family members’ profiles so your children can’t get around the restrictions on their profiles.
The Parental Controls allow you to access the viewing history, so you know how much programming your child has been watching. Disabling auto-play will reduce your child’s ability to watch one episode after another of their favorite shows. Alternatively, you might make sure your child doesn’t have the PIN for accessing their profile, requiring you to sign them in.
DIRECTV STREAM has parental controls that help put you in charge of your kids’ viewing habits. Navigating to Settings and Preferences will take you to Parental Controls. Once in Parental Controls, you can follow the prompts to go to the settings you need to control.
DIRECTV STREAM offers controls based on rating or types of content, much as other streaming services. In addition to controls based on content, you can also restrict the times that your kids or teens can watch content.
Hulu has traditionally had fewer parental controls than other services, with restrictions applying to R and TV-MA ratings as the only primary option. If you go to Manage Profiles while logged into your account, you can set up a Kids profile.
To keep a child from streaming other content, you can secure the other profiles in your account with a PIN. Another alternative to consider is making sure that kids and teens in your house lack the PIN for their profile, letting you control when kids access their profile much more closely.
Apple TV allows content restrictions through parental controls. The restrictions available for kids watching on connected TVs are restricted to content and not the time spent watching. However, an app may help restrict usage for children and teens accessing Apple TV on an iPhone or iPad.
The Screen Time app allows parents to set controls on how long kids may use these devices, which also makes it easier to control access to the other streaming services if accessed via mobile device. You can set up this app so the controls only expire once your children have reached 18 years.
Sleep deprivation is a severe problem that leads to poor academic performance and a chance of future health issues. One of the leading causes of sleeplessness across all age groups is too much TV usage. The number of streaming services available has made binging easier, accounting for more late nights.
However, the good news is that parental controls can help parents keep their kids’ viewing in check. Some services allow restrictions on viewing times, while others offer greater control through directly restricting profile access. Regardless of which controls your service offers, they can play an essential role in stopping kids’ late-night streaming binges.