Playing with, or sleeping alongside, electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets deprive kids of sleep, according to a recent study.
Playing with, or sleeping alongside, electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets deprive kids of sleep, according to a recent study.

Smartphones, tablets rob kids of sleep

By Time of article published Jan 5, 2015

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California – Children who have access to tablets or smartphones in their bedrooms get less sleep than children who do not have the devices with them at night, according to a recent study.

A study from University of California, Berkeley on a group of 2 000 children aged 9 to 13 found that having a small screen within reach was slightly worse than a television set when it came to sleep deprivation.

Overall, those with access to smartphones and tablets got nearly 21 fewer minutes of sleep per night than children whose rooms were free of such technology, and they were more likely to say they felt sleep deprived.

Those with a TV in their bedroom got 18 fewer minutes of slumber than kids without televisions in their rooms.

“Presence of a small screen, but not a TV, in the sleep environment, and screen time were associated with perceived insufficient rest or sleep,” said the study, led by Jennifer Falbe of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

“These findings caution against unrestricted screen access in children's bedrooms.”

It follows a growing set of data finding electronic device use before bed leads to poor quality sleep, including a November study that found adults who use eReaders before bed have greater trouble falling asleep than those who read print books.

The University of Texas study found that the light emitted from eReaders disrupts the natural circadian clock by suppressing levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls the day-night cycle.

 

ABC/AFP

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