Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

July 13, 2011 -

A new study, "Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing, and Environment,” comes to the conclusion that "screen time" before bed can cause restless nights for preschoolers. The new study was conducted by Michelle Garrison Ph.D., a research scientist at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. The findings were published in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics.

"A lot of the research had lumped all media use together,” said Michelle Garrison. "Reducing media use altogether is an overwhelming goal for a lot of families. There are healthy media choices that families can be making."

She added that the goal is to shift away from violent content to content that is educational and has social value.

The study found that having any screen time (violent or otherwise) before bedtime seemed to cause sleep problems in young children. Researchers pointed the finger at all kinds of screen time too - from television shows and video games to mobile phone games. Most of the violent screen time for preschoolers came from TV shows intended for older kids, which usually featured some sort of animated or comic violence.

Garrison acknowledged that changing children's behavior isn’t easy but finding creative ways to do it is important.

Source: ConsumerReports.org


Comments

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

As I was growing up and my parents put me in a bedroom instead of having a whole Basement to myself I found from that time on till I got my own room that I couldn't sleep at nights. The area was getting too bad to go out and play (My parents were Liberals who stayed in an area of a white flight until the murders and drug dealers were too much to deal with many years later) and then from 97-99 they tried to take away all forms of video games because I couldn't sleep at night and believe me there is nothing better then staying up from 8PM when told to go to bed and not falling asleep until 2AM well looking at the walls....

My mother is Polish so she was too cheap to think to take me to the doctor thinking it was something with my behavior rather then I could of had something like insominia?

Kids need to get treated to see why they are so restless instead of playing the blame game. Yes video games can be the cause but so too can be overloading a kid with homework. But it can also be something like insominia which even though Doctor Feminist Mom thinks she knows everything, she doesn't.

 

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

Most electronic devices have these things called "off buttons" which usually terminate the function of the device.

Plus, why does all content HAVE to have education and social value? Can't it just be fun?

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

Uh wait I thought this article was on how certain types of media will keep kids up later... which I kinda have to say a big duh to.  The more energetic the media the more likely kids will be wide awake after.

That being said there are points I disagree with you on... though relevance to this article I am not entirely certain on.  I mean the reverse, can't media that is fun also be educational and have social value?  The best games out there don't need to proclaim themselves educational, rather teach more by coincidence than anything else.  Games set in historical settings, assuming not horribly inaccurate will teach some history.  Games about finding ways through test chambers witha portal gun can help develop spatial skills, and actually teach about good comedy.

I don't think the problem is always violence, but honestly watching something violent before bed isn't the best way to get to sleep, especially for younger children.  Heck even some entiely non violent shows that get the blood pumping will make sleeping more difficult.  This isn't exactly a point that can be debated to much...  Something more relaxing is more likely to get you to sleep sooner rather than later.  I don't know how you pulled them proclaiming that media needs to be less fun though, unless you somehow hold violence and fun as equivelent, which is definately incorrect.  The bottom line this all boils down to is context, and parents need to provide it.  They might need to answer some of lifes more difficult questions in the process, but overall I think that is what builds a good individual. 

 

 


Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

Yes it can be fun as well as educational and have social value, just don't go ramming it through, and don't make those two things all it is.

And yes parents do need to provide context as wel las moniter what their kids are taking in and when.

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

This is kind of the standard line for child advocate types.  They would like to see children spend all their time holding hands and singing in a big ring.  To acknowledge that children are attracted to, indeed may need as part of their normal development, access to at least some darker themes, does not fit within this ideological agenda. 

In my experience articles published in the journal Pediatrics are particularly likely to beat this ideological drum.

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

Feh, they're teaching them all this nice stuff in a world that tends to be less so.

I'm not saying things shouldn't be educational and such, but, it tends to be less effective if the kids are bored.

Re: Study: Screen Time Keeping Preschoolers up at Night

I will give credit to the study for not singling out video games.  That being said, this is why we have parents. 

 
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