Study Finds that Small Screens in Children’s Bedrooms Can Harm Sleep

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When your little one asks to watch just one more show before bedtime, it could actually be doing him harm. Research has shown children who have a television (or even a smartphone or tablet) in their bedrooms have later bedtimes and aren’t getting enough sleep at night.

The study, “Sleep Duration, Restfulness, and Screens in the Sleep Environment,” 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 slept less hours at night than those who slept without screens in their rooms.

And it’s not just limited to TV or DVD viewing. Video and computer game playing were also associated with shorter weekday sleep duration and sleepiness, too.

So if you want your kids to get their 8 hours of sleep, skip pre-bedtime screen time—and make sure that smartphones and tablets are tucked away until morning.

Photo credit: Sven Scheuermeier

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