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HHS HealthBeat (May 8, 2014)

TV and kids’ sleep

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Is late-night TV your child’s night light? A study indicates kids who watch more TV or have TVs in their bedrooms sleep less.  At the Harvard School of Public Health, Elizabeth Cespedes saw this in data on around 1,850 kids whose mothers reported the kids’ TV watching starting in infancy and continuing yearly until the kids were 7.

Cespedes says that, for each additional hour of TV watching, kids slept seven minutes less.

“Seven minutes per day may not seem like a lot. But even young children often watch for multiple hours. Sleep loss can build up over a week and lead to substantial sleep debt.’’

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 8, 2014