Research has shown children
who have a television in their bedrooms have later bedtimes and shorter sleep
duration. A new study shows similar sleep problems in children who have a
“small screen,” such as a smartphone in their room. The study, “Sleep Duration,Restfulness, and Screens in the Sleep Environment
,” published in the February
2015 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 5), surveyed 2,048 fourth- and
seventh-graders about bedtimes, wake times, feelings of sleepiness and the
presence of televisions, smartphones and other small screens in their bedrooms.
Children who slept near a small screen and children with a television in their
bedroom had shorter weekday sleep durations. Children who slept near a small
screen were more likely to report perceived insufficient sleep. TV or DVD
viewing and video or computer game playing were also associated with shorter
weekday sleep duration and sleepiness. Children with screens in their sleep
environment and more screen time also had later bedtimes. Study authors
conclude the findings caution against children’s unfettered access to
screen-based media in their bedrooms.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and
pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being
of infants, children, adolescents and young adults (www.aap.org).
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