Inforum 5 January 2015
Parents concerned about their children not getting enough sleep may want to remove televisions and other small electronics from the kids’ bedrooms, according to a new study.
Children who slept with televisions or other small-screened devices in their bedrooms ended up getting less sleep than children without those electronics in the room, researchers found.
“While more studies are needed to confirm our results, we know that too much screen time is bad for children’s health in multiple ways,” said Jennifer Falbe, the study’s lead author from the University of California, Berkley.
Past studies found that having televisions in kids’ bedrooms is tied to less sleep (see Reuters Health story of April 14, 2014.) Less sleep is ultimately tied to other issues, including obesity and academic performance.
But few studies have looked at the presence of other small electronics in bedrooms, the researchers write in the journal Pediatrics.
For the new study, Falbe and colleagues used data from 2,048 fourth- and seventh-graders enrolled in an obesity study in Massachusetts.
They found that kids with TVs in their rooms reported sleeping about 18 minutes less each night than kids without bedroom televisions.