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Preschoolers Who Watch TV Sleep Less

May 22, 2019
Sleep Review

Preschoolers who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who don’t, according to new research by University of Massachusetts Amherst neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer, PhD, and developmental science graduate student Abigail Helm.

More surprising to Spencer, 36% of 3- to 5-year-olds had TVs in their bedroom, and a third of those kids fell asleep with the TV on, often watching stimulating or violent adult programming.

The study, published in Sleep Health, the journal of the National Sleep Foundation, suggests that TV use by young children affects the quality and duration of sleep, measured by wrist actigraphy. Moreover, while daytime napping was found to increase among the kids who watched the most TV, it did not fully compensate for the lost sleep at night.