Children Who Watch More Television Sleep Less

Mar 15, 2014
Children Who Watch More Television Sleep Less

Bottom Line: Pre-school and school-aged children who spent more time watching television got less sleep.

Author: Marcella Marinelli, M.Sc., Ph.D., of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.

Background: Sleep is important and prior research has suggested that television viewing can cause irregular sleep habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in 2009 that children under 2 years avoid exposure to any media and that for older children time be limited to one to two hours per day.

How the Study Was Conducted: The authors examined the association between hours of television viewing and sleep in 1,713 children in Spain through parent-reported sleep duration.

Results: Children who watched TV for 1.5 hours or more a day had shorter sleep duration at baseline. Children who reported increased TV viewing over time (from less than 1.5 hours per day to 1.5 or more hours per day) reported a reduction in sleep at follow-up visits.

Discussion: “Further prospective studies are required to confirm these findings and to investigate the mechanisms that may underline the possible association.”

(JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 10, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3861