health

Child can't sleep? This is why.

It’s not your fault. Entirely.

Are you concerned that your children might not be getting enough sleep? You may want to remove screened devices from their bedroom.

According to a new study, children who slept with televisions, phones or tablets in their bedrooms got less sleep than children without those electronics in the room.

“While more studies are needed to confirm our results, we know that too much screen time is bad for children’s health in multiple ways,” said Jennifer Falbe, the study’s lead author from the University of California, Berkley.

Children who slept near small screens recorded sleeping around 21 minutes less each night than children who didn't sleep near tablets of phones. (Image via iStock)

For the study, researchers used data from 2,048 nine and 12-year-olds. They found that kids with TVs in their rooms reported sleeping 18 minutes less each night than kids without bedroom televisions.

Additionally, children who slept near small screens recorded sleeping around 21 minutes less each night than children who didn't sleep near tablets of phones.

While that doesn't seem like a lot of sleep time missed, it definitely adds up. Less sleep also has follow on effects including obesity and lowered academic performance.

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There are many reasons why electronics may effect your child's sleep including the bright light of screens before bed, sounds and alerts as well as more sedentary activity. (Image via iStock)

Dr. Heidi Connolly, head of sleep medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Golisano Children’s Hospital in New York advises parents to keep televisions and all other electronics outside of children’s bedrooms.

“You want your brain to associate being in bed with being asleep," Connolly told Reuters. "For kids, the only thing that should be happening in bed is sleeping."

There are many reasons why electronics may effect your child's sleep including the bright light of screens before bed, sounds and alerts as well as more sedentary activity.

The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children under age two years avoid screens and suggests that parents establish “screen-free” zones in the home – including bedrooms.

What do you think about this advice? Have you noticed your children get less sleep with electronics in the room?

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