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13th February, 2018: Parents often oblige kids
stay up late playing games on their smartphones. However, a recent research by
scholars of Penn State College of Medicine has found out that using digital
devices before bed may contribute to sleep and nutrition problems in children.
The results to this effect are published in the journal Global Paediatric
The researchers came to this conclusion after surveying parents of 234 children between the ages of 8 and 17 years about their kids’ technology and sleep habits. They found that using technology before bed was associated with less sleep, poorer sleep quality, more fatigue in the morning and higher body mass indexes (BMI).
“We found an association between higher BMIs and an increase in technology use, and also those children who reported more technology use at bedtime were associated with less sleep at night,” Fuller, the lead researcher, said. “These children were also more likely to be tired in the morning, which is also a risk factor for higher BMIs.”
Further research is needed to determine whether multiple devices at bedtime results in worse sleep than just one device.
According to Dr. Marsha Novick, co-author of this study, these results will help paediatricians talk to parents about the use of technology. “Although there are many benefits to using technology, paediatricians may want to counsel parents about limiting technology for their kids, particularly at bedtime, to promote healthy childhood development and mental health,” Novick said.