Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Kids With Bedroom Smartphones Sleep Less: Study


Experts recommend limiting use of small screen devices

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WebMD News from HealthDay

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A smartphone in a child's bedroom may undermine good sleep habits even more than a TV, new research suggests.

A study of more than 2,000 elementary and middle-school students found that having a smartphone or tablet in the bedroom was associated with less weekday sleep and feeling sleepy in the daytime.

"Studies have shown that traditional screens and screen time, like TV viewing, can interfere with sleep, but much less is known about the impacts of smartphones and other small screens," said study lead author Jennifer Falbe, of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Small screens are of particular concern because they provide access to a wide range of content, including games, videos, websites and texts, that can be used in bed and delay sleep, she said. They also emit audible notifications of incoming communications that may interrupt sleep.

"We found that both sleeping near a small screen and sleeping in a room with a TV set were related to shorter weekday sleep duration," Falbe noted. "Children who slept near a small screen, compared to those who did not, were also more likely to feel like they did not get enough sleep."

The findings were published online Jan. 5 and in the February print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"Despite the importance of sleep to child health, development and performance in school, many children are not sleeping enough," Falbe said.

Preteen school-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep each day, while teenagers need between nine and 10, the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute advises.

For this study, the researchers focused on the sleep habits of nearly 2,050 boys and girls who had participated in the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study in 2012-2013.

The children were in the fourth or seventh grade in one of 29 schools. More than two-thirds of the children were white, and roughly one-fifth were Hispanic.

All were asked about electronic devices in the bedroom, what time they went to bed, what time they woke up, and how many days over the prior week they felt they needed more sleep.

source : Kids With Bedroom Smartphones Sleep Less: Study

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