What is it about?
We studied the association of media consumption and sleep quality in 530 three-year-old children in Southern Germany as part of the Ulm SPATZ Health Study. Improving on earlier studies, we ascertained data on electronic media consumption (TV as well as newer media devices) and conventional book reading. Moreover, because sleep habits develop across childhood, we restricted to three-year-old children rather than including a broader age range. We found that in particular child TV consumption exceeded recommended levels of max. 30 minutes per day in every 7th three-year-old which was associated with decreased child sleep quality. We cannot fully exclude the possiblity of reverse causation by using TV watching as a sleep aid. However, we also found an inverse association of other computer or internet use with child sleep quality: the more the worse. This was true especially for those that had good sleep quality at age 2 years which argues against this electronic media consumption as a sleep aid. Moreover, we found that conventional book use (viewed by the children themselves or read out by the parents) may prevent a worsening in night wakings from 2 to 3 years of age.
Why is it important?
Electronic media consumption has become an integral part of most societies around the world. As a consequence, childhood expsoure to electronic media seems inevitable. It is important that parents understand the ramifications of childhood electronic media exposures. Impaired sleep, fostered by electronic media consumption, has been linked to various physical and psychological health impairments throughout childhood. Our study documents that preventive action needs to be put in place potentially earlier, i.e. in the first years of life, than has been previously thought or discussed. Parents and their children are likely to benefit from educational programs on sleep, sleep hygiene, and media consumption.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Media consumption and sleep quality in early childhood: results from the Ulm SPATZ Health Study, Sleep Medicine, December 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2017.10.013.
You can read the full text:
coverage of our work on Reuters
free download until May 4, 2018
To help you access and share this work, Elsevier has created a Share Link – a personalized URL providing 50 days' free access to this article. Anyone clicking on this link before May 05, 2018 will be taken directly to the final version of this article on ScienceDirect. No sign up, registration or fees are required – they can simply click and read.
The following have contributed to this page