Study: Kids lose 7 minutes of sleep for every hour of TV they watch

April 18, 2014 | By | Reply More

Apr 18, – If your child seems to be waking up earlier than ever before, you could blame Dora the Explorer. A new study from the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Mass., found for every hour of TV a child watches, they lose seven minutes of sleep at night.

Children watching televisionThe study followed more than 1,800 children from six months old until they were nearly eight years old and found a “small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration,” the researchers said in a press release.

Boys were more likely than girls to get less sleep due to watching television. Children who had a television in their bedroom got, on average, 30 minutes less sleep per day.

The study appears in the May issue of Pediatrics.

Every child would love to have a television in their bedroom, but new research suggests it is bad for their health. For every hour of television a child watches each day, they get seven fewer minutes sleep.

U.S. researchers found boys are particularly likely to miss out on sleep because of the presence of a television in their bedroom.

They found that those who had a television in their bedroom got less sleep than those who didn’t.

They also discovered that children from ethnic minorities were much more likely to sleep in a room with a television.

And, among these children, the presence of a television reduced sleep duration by about half an hour a day.

The study participants, the children and their mothers, were enrolled in Project Viva – a long-term investigation into the health effects of several factors during pregnancy and after birth.

This study analysed information reported by mothers when the children were about six months old and then annually for the next seven years.

Health and science writer for HRO media – Dr. Carlos Ricardo contributed to this report.

 

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Category: Health and Fitness

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