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Adequate Sleep, Limited Screen Time Can Decrease Impulsivity in Children

8/14/2019

A study in the September 2019 issue of Pediatrics sought to examine whether adherence to the “Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth” was associated with levels of impulsivity in children. The guidelines recommend nine to 11 hours sleep each night, no more than two hours of daily recreational screen time, and at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.  The study, “24-Hour Movement Behaviors and Impulsivity,” published online Aug. 14, looked at the amount of screen time, hours of sleep each night and daily physical activity for 4,524 U.S. children. The researchers found that children who met the sleep, screen time and physical activity recommendations reported lower levels of impulsivity. The study suggests that adequate sleep and limited screen time had the largest association with reduced impulsivity. The authors state that these findings could be important for pediatricians, educators, parents and policy makers as they consider opportunities to limit screen time, while also promoting early, routine bedtimes; especially as it relates to prevention and treatment of impulsivity-related psychiatric disorders such as Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds