Removing digital devices from children's bedrooms improves sleep quality

Digital devices in a child's bedroom increase the amount of screen time, mental stimulation and effects of light on interrupting sleep cycles.
By Amy Wallace  |  Nov. 2, 2017 at 4:05 PM
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Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Researchers at Penn State have found that removing digital devices and electronic media from a child's bedroom can improve sleep quality and quantity.

Results of the study, published in the November edition of Pediatrics, are based on an analysis of previous studies that shows use of digital devices before bed can cause disrupted and insufficient sleep in children.

"Recent reviews of scientific literature reveal that the vast majority of studies find evidence for an adverse association between screen-based media consumption and sleep health, primarily delayed bedtimes and reduced total sleep duration," Orfeu Buxton, associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, said in a news release.

The study showed that the reason for the negative association between digital devices before bed and poor sleep quality are due to increased screen time replacing sleep time, mental stimulation and the effects of light on sleep cycles.

Researchers recommend parents encourage a bedtime routine that does not include electronic media, removing all electronic devices from a child or teen's bedroom including television, video games, computers, tablets and smartphones. They also recommend parents make sleep a priority by talking about the importance of sleep with children and how bright lights have a negative impact on their sleep.

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