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Tags: bedroom | electronics | sleep

Bedroom TV, Devices Hinder Sleep

Friday, 26 October 2012 01:18 PM EDT

Children who spend a lot of time using electronic devices in their bedrooms at night — watching TV, on the computer, playing video games or talking/texting on their cellphones — don’t get enough sleep and tend to be more overweight than kids who aren’t as plugged into personal technology.
That’s the key finding of new research from University of Alberta public health experts who said parents should take steps to help kids establish healthy sleep habits early and not use electronic devices in their bedrooms, particularly just before going to bed.
“If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle, get the technology out of the bedroom,” said researcher Paul Veugelers, a professor at the university’s School of Public Health.
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Added co-investigator Christina Fung: “It’s important to teach these children at an earlier age and teach them healthy habits when they are younger.”
For the study, the researchers surveyed 3,400 Alberta fifth graders of about their nighttime sleep habits and electronics use. Half of the students had a TV, video player or game console in their bedroom; 21 percent had a computer; 17 percent had a cellphone; and 5 percent of students had all types of devices.
The results showed 57 percent of students reported using electronics when they were supposed to be sleeping. Watching TV and movies was the most popular activity, but more than a quarter of the students said they engaged in three or more activities after bedtime.
Researchers also found that students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times as likely to be overweight as kids with no devices in the bedroom. That increased to 2.57 times for kids with three devices, with similar results reported among obese children.
What’s more, the results showed those students who reported more sleep and less electronics use tended to be more physical active and make better diet choices than their plugged-in peers.
The findings, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, calculated as little as one hour of additional sleep decreased the odds of being overweight or obese by 28 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Fung said children today are not sleeping as much as previous generations, with two-thirds not getting the recommended hours of sleep. A good night’s sleep has been linked to better academic outcomes, fewer mood disorders, and other health benefits, she added.
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© HealthDay

Kids who watch TV and use electronics in their rooms at bedtime don’t get enough sleep and are more overweight.
Friday, 26 October 2012 01:18 PM
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