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.”
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