More TV means less sleep for young kids

A new study has found that the more time young children spend watching TV, the less likely they are to get the sleep they need, which can negatively affect their physical and mental health.

A team of scientists from Harvard University conducted a long-term study of more than 1,800 children between ages 6 months and 8 years. The mothers of the children in the study were given the task of completing annual questionnaires regarding their children’s TV viewing habits, including whether the children had a TV in their bedroom and the amount of time they spent in a room where the TV was on. The mothers also reported their children’s average amount of sleep every night.

The results showed that children who spent the most amount of time watching TV got the least amount of sleep. Every extra hour of daily TV viewing corresponded with seven fewer minutes of daily sleep. Researchers said the link is significant because it followed a consistent pattern. The study, detailed in the journal Pediatrics, reinforces previous evidence from relatively small, short-term studies. The bottom line, according to the researchers: Watching long hours of TV and having a TV in the bedroom is not good for your kids.

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Longer TV hours linked to reduced sleep in young kids