Monday May 27, 2019

Kids Spending More Time in Watching TV Get Less Sleep

On an average, young children without TVs in their bedrooms slept 30 minutes more at night than those with a TV in their bedroom

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Pre-schoolers who watch less than one hour of TV per day get 22 more minutes of sleep at night — or nearly 2.5 hours per week — than those who watch more than an hour of TV daily, new research has found.

The study, published in Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, suggests that TV use by young children affects the quality and duration of sleep, measured by an actigraphic device kids wore like a watch on their wrist.

Moreover, while daytime napping was found to increase among the kids who watched the most TV, it did not fully compensate for the lost sleep at night.

“The good news is, this is addressable. Parents assumed that TV was helping their kids wind down. But it didn’t work. Those kids weren’t getting good sleep, and it wasn’t helping them fall asleep better. It’s good to have this data,” said Rebecca Spencer, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the US.

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Young kids who watch more TV get less sleep. Pixabay

A very diverse group of 470 pre-schoolers participated in the study, wearing actigraphs for up to 16 days. Their parents and caregivers answered questionnaires about demographics and the children’s health and behaviour, including detailed questions on TV use.

The findings showed that pre-schoolers who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who do not.

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On an average, young children without TVs in their bedrooms slept 30 minutes more at night than those with a TV in their bedroom, the study said.

The findings of the researchers come on the heels of new guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which say children between age 2 and 4 years should have no more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” daily – and less or no screen time is even better. (IANS)

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Reading with Your Children Can Make You a Better Parent, Say Researchers

The results showed that frequent shared reading at age 1 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 3, and frequent shared reading at age 3 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 5

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Reading
Toddler reading a book. Pixabay
People who regularly read with their kids are less likely to engage in harsh parenting and their children are less likely to be hyperactive and have attention problems, say researchers.
The study, published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, suggests additional benefits from shared reading — a stronger parent-child bond.
“For parents, the simple routine of reading with your child on a daily basis provides not just academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child’s success in school and beyond,” said study lead researcher Manuel Jimenez, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the US.
“Our findings can be applied to programmes that help parents and care givers in underserved areas to develop positive parenting skills,” Jimenez said.
Family gathers for reading Ramayana. Image Source: The Hindu
For the study, the research team reviewed data on over 2,000 mother-child pairs from 20 large US cities in which the women were asked how often they read to their children at ages 1 and or 3.
The mothers were re-interviewed two years later, about how often they engaged in physically and/or psychologically aggressive discipline and about their children’s behaviour.
The results showed that frequent shared reading at age 1 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 3, and frequent shared reading at age 3 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 5.
Mothers who read frequently with their children also reported fewer disruptive behaviours from their children, which may partially explain the reduction in harsh parenting behaviours, said the study. (IANS)