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New study claims children’s sleep is barely affected by the amount of time spent staring at screens.

Researchers found that screen-time had little impact on how much sleep children get, casting doubts on previous studies that claim excessive use of gadgets is to blame for up to 90 per cent of school-age children not getting enough sleep, shared The Telegraph.

The scientists from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, said the relationship between screen-time and sleep was at most “extremely modest”.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that every hour of screen time was linked to 3 to 8 fewer minutes of sleep a night. The scientists concluded that this correlation was too small to make a real difference to a child’s sleep.

Professor Andrew Przybylski, author of the study, suggested parents need to look at other variables, such as what children do before bedtime, to help improve sleep patterns.

“Focusing on bedtime routines and regular patterns of sleep, such as consistent wake-up times, are much more effective strategies for helping young people sleep than thinking screens themselves play a significant role,” he said.

Professor Przybylski criticised the small sample sizes of previous studies which have blamed increased screen-time on poor sleep of minors.

He said: “Because the effects of screens are so modest, it is possible that many studies with smaller sample sizes could be false positives, results that support an effect that in reality does not exist.”

Read more – 8 Rules You need to Implement Around Screentime ASAP!

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  • This is interesting. I find that if I use my tablet in bed I actually fall asleep very quickly. B7t perhaps it affects the quality of sleep.

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  • Screen time is different for all. For some it hypes up, for others it calms down.

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  • the actual staring at the screen might not be the problem but the excitement of the game might be the cause

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  • The link to the article states the results came from a parent survey – would like some more in depth results.

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  • Don’t know if I agree with this study, but I do agree that focusing on bedtime routines and regular patterns of sleep, such as consistent bed- and wake-up times, are important strategies.


    • I would like to know about Australian studies with our population. This study is from the UK.

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  • I limited their times with screens to a min. Reading a book before bed and doing a regular bedtime is more help for a good sleep.

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  • I thought the lighting from the screens was stimulating to the eye and the brain. It’s much more calming to read a book. I definitely know when my children have watched too much tv by their behaviour

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  • I love the idea of reading a book before bed as a way of winding down.

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  • My other half is a clinically diagnosed insomniac and there has been far more studies showing the effects blue screen on the brain than this study. I still strongly believe that reading a book before bed is a great habit to get children into early.

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  • interesting. i thought it was only a matter of time before this sort of study would be done.

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  • I know if I’m on my screen before bed it takes me longer to fall asleep you cannot really say it’s not the same for children.

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  • I’m not entirely sure I believe this. Would be interested to see what variables they accounted for.

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  • quite interesting reading the comments too!
    My kids both lose their ipads at 7.30pm and by 7.45pm both out cold!

    they know my rules about them and they are brilliant about it =]

    I track their sleep with their garmin fit watches and its always enough sleep =]

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  • I thought the correlation was in particular in the evening, just before going to bed. Interesting.

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  • I tend to disagree with this study as before bed my kids play on the computer sometimes and when they do it disturbs their sleep and they wake up several times a night

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