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TV Time Linked With Poor Sleep In Preschoolers

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

TV Time Linked With Poor Sleep In Preschoolers

A recent study found that the more TV preschool children watched during the day, the less sleep they generally got at night. The study looked at preschool-aged and elementary-aged children and was based on parents' observations. The authors concluded that limiting the hours children spend watching TV may be best for their sleep schedules.

The study, led by Marcella Marinelli, PhD, of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, an ISGlobal research centre, looked for links between how much TV children watched and how much sleep they got. The researchers analyzed the data provided by the parents of 1,713 children in three Spanish cities (Valencia, Menorca and Sabadell) from INMA project.

Most of the children were followed-up four years later, and the same patterns emerged for weekday as well as weekend viewing, the researchers found.
During the first collection of data, when the children were younger, those who watched at least 1.5 hours of TV a day slept less compared to children who watched less TV. At the follow-up of the 6- and 9-year-olds, those children whose TV-watching increased to more than 1.5 hours daily slept 20 percent less than when first seen, the researchers found".

However, "children who reduced the amount of time spent in front of the television had some recovery of sleep duration," Marinelli said.

Published on JAMA Pediatrics. Marinelli M, Sunyer J, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Iniguez C, Torrent M, Vioque J, Turner MC, Julvez J. Hours of television viewing and sleep duration in children: a Multicenter Birth Cohort Study. JAMA Pediatrics 2014 (in press)


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