Article at a Glance

  • Children who sleep with a smartphone or tablet in their room get less sleep and report feeling less well-rested than those who don’t.
  • Having a TV in the bedroom also contributed to less sleep, but had less effect than a small screen device.
  • Sleep plays an important role in a child’s mental and physical development.

Children who sleep with a smartphone in their bedroom are probably missing out on some much needed rest.

Previous studies have found that having a TV in your child’s bedroom can reduce the amount of sleep your child gets, but this most recent study was one of the first to look at how having a smartphone or tablet in the bedroom effects your child’s sleep.

The study looked at over 2,000 elementary and middle-school students and asked them questions about their sleep routine, how well-rested they felt, and how often they had a small screen device or TV in their bedroom while sleeping.

This is what they found out:

  • 57 percent of the children said they slept with a small screen device nearby.
  • Children who had small screens devices in their bedrooms got 20.6 minutes less sleep and were more likely to say they didn’t feel well-rested.
  • 75 percent of children said they had a TV in their bedroom. These children got 18 minutes less sleep, but reported being more well-rested than those who had a small screen device in their room.
  • Children with small screen devices in their room went to bed 37 minutes later than those who didn’t and children with a TV in their room went to bed 31 minutes later.

Although the study didn’t track the reason behind the poor sleep habits, small screen devices can disrupt your sleep in a variety of ways. Previous studies have shown that exposure to screens that emit blue light can disrupt your sleep patterns. Unlimited access to content on the Internet can also be a tempting distraction from sleep. Plus small screen devices can interrupt sleep when getting calls, texts, or alerts.

Parents would be wise to keep any kind of screens out of their children’s bedrooms. Getting enough sleep is an important part of a child’s mental and physical development. Not getting enough sleep can effect school performance, lead to health problems like obesity, contribute to many learning and behavioral problems, and negatively impact your child’s long-term health.



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Sleeping with a smartphone can disrupt your child’s sleep

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