The Question: Does sleeping in a room with a small screen or TV affect the quality and duration of a child’s sleep?

The Study: The researchers used data on 2,048 fourth- and seventh-graders that completed a questionnaire in 2012–2013 as part of the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study. The students were asked about their sleep quality and duration, small screens (smart phones) and TVs in their bedrooms, TV and DVD watching, and video game playing.

The Results: The statistical analysis found that children who slept near a screen had slept poorer than those children who did not sleep near a screen. Those with a small screen at their bedside reported sleeping an average of 20 minutes less than those who didn’t have a small screen bedside. They also indicated poorer sleep quality. The same was true of children with a TV in the bedroom.

Comment: The results are not surprising—distractions in children’s bedrooms interfere with the duration and quality of their sleep.

Read More: Pediatrics, 02/15

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