Navigation Links
Screen Time Near Bedtime Means Less Sleep for Kids

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children and teens who spend time watching television, playing video games or using the computer right before bedtime are likely to take longer to fall asleep than those who watch less or none, according to new research.

And that could add up to a sleep deficit, experts said.

"Reducing screen time in this pre-sleep window could be a good strategy for helping kids go to sleep earlier," said study leader Louise Foley, who was a researcher at the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the time of the study.

Foley and her team zeroed in on how much TV watching and video game playing children and teens, 5 to 18, did in the 90 minutes before their bedtime. They also looked at how long it took them to fall asleep. The more screen time, the longer it took to doze off.

The study was published online Jan. 14 and in the February print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The findings are no surprise, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a distinguished professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Christakis has studied the effects of media use on children.

"There is growing evidence that media use around sleep time is bad for sleep initiation," Christakis said.

The new study, he said, suggests that "it's not so much having a bedtime for your children. You have to have a bedtime for their devices."

Although previous research has found that television viewing and other "screen-time" activities are linked with a decline in the length of time children and teens sleep, the new study is believed to be the first to look at the pre-bedtime period by asking youth (or their parents, for the younger children) to account for their time in detail.

In the new study, the researchers found that about one-third of the 90 minutes before bedtime, on average, involved watching television, playing video games or working at the computer.

Engaging in such screen time, experts say, can cause arousal, making sleep difficult. The blue light from screens can affect circadian rhythms and adversely affect falling asleep.

Differences found between sleep onset were wide-ranging. For instance, those in the late group spent 13 more minutes of screen time before bed than did those in the early-to-sleep group.

Although the difference may seem small, it adds up to an hour less sleep over the school week.

The new study findings add to accumulating evidence about the problem of too little sleep in children and teens, said Dr. Roya Samuels, an attending pediatrician at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

"We've seen so many studies over the past couple years that have concentrated on the effects of inadequate sleep," she said. It has been linked with "all sorts of detrimental consequences on kids' behavior patterns the next day -- increased aggression, being hyperactive."

Samuels blames lack of sleep in children and teens on a lack of proper winding-down activities -- and often that's because they are busy watching television or using the computer.

"Sleep is just as important in terms of growth and development as nutrition," she said. "Kids need adequate sleep to grow emotionally, physically and mentally. Two hours before bedtime should be calm time."

She said she realizes this is a challenge, with many parents juggling work and household and parenting demands, including homework supervision.

Foley suggested encouraging kids to try activities that don't take place on-screen. The entire family could participate in a non-screen activity such as arts and crafts together right before bedtime, she said.

"It's a lot easier for a child to reduce screen time if the whole family has made a commitment to watching less TV," she said.

How much sleep is enough? Although people vary in their needs, the National Sleep Foundation suggests preschoolers need about 11 to 13 hours, elementary school children about 10 or 11 hours and teens 8.5 to 9.25 hours.

More information

To learn more about sleep needs, visit the National Sleep Foundation.

SOURCES: Louise S. Foley, Ph.D., formerly at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Roya Samuels, M.D., attending pediatrician, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Dimitri Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, and director, Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute; February 2013 Pediatrics

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Cervical cancer screening in less-developed areas should be tailored to local conditions
2. Cancer Society Suggests CT Lung Screening for Heavy Smokers
3. American Cancer Society recommends informed decision making in lung cancer screening
4. Provider of Hearing Aids in Woodstock, GA — Progressive Audiology Center, Inc. — Announces Complimentary Screening and Online Hearing Test
5. Inclusion of CTC as HEDIS screening modality could increase colorectal cancer screening compliance
6. Virginia Hearing Consultants Now Makes Getting Hearing Aids in Norfolk, VA Easier With Complimentary Hearing Screenings
7. Hispanics leery of health care providers, often avoid cancer screenings, Moffitt study shows
8. Brief Life Expectancy Should Rule Out Certain Cancer Screenings: Study
9. First study of Oregons Hmong reveals surprising influences on cancer screenings
10. Costly breast cancer screenings dont add up to better outcomes
11. Costly Breast Cancer Screenings May Not Help Seniors: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Screen Time Near Bedtime Means Less Sleep for Kids
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and discoveries, leading ... strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance of volumetric ... the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st Annual ... abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Next ... selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition, an ... was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions for its ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... XTC Semifinals 2016 - CES, Las Vegas, Nevada - ... CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer Electronic Show, where they will present to a ... of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and venture capitalist Tim Draper among many other top ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... SonaCare Medical congratulates the University College London ... on November 18th. This prestigious award recognizes annually organizations that cultivate truly innovative ... medical landscape. , The UCLH team won the award for their innovative approach ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... new market research report "Nucleic Acid Labeling Market by ... Nick Translation, Random Primer, In Vitro Transcription, Reverse Transcription, ... published by MarketsandMarkets, The global market is expected to ... Million in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 8.65%. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 Russia ... clinical trials. 70% of new drugs registered in Europe ... Russia . --> Russia has always been ... of new drugs registered in Europe in 2015 ... --> Russia has always been a country ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a clinical-stage ... announced today that the company will present at the LD ... at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los ... Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, at 9:00 ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior to the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: