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Sleep Habits Passed on to Next Generation

Child playing a video game with the screen lighting her face.Parents pass along many traits to their kids. One of these includes a child's sleep habits.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says, ”Sleep is the subject of some confusion and considerable anxiety among parents of infants, but fades gradually to an afterthought among most parents of older children, who struggle to maintain busy schedules, enforce homework, and endorse healthy social lives. In the effort to balance these needs, children’s sleep often takes a back seat.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation web site, explains the issue:

Short-changing sleep has serious adverse consequences. American children get too little sleep, with major adverse implications for their cognitive ability, judgment, behavior and physical health. Although there are many reasons for the lack of adequate sleep among children, media use is frequently cited as one probable culprit.

But given the many changes in young people’s media environments, this evidence base is out of date. There is good reason to believe that different media formats (e.g. television viewing, Internet use, cell phone use, electronic game-playing) will have different kinds of effects on sleep.

So the question is: How does our kids' various media affect their sleep patterns?

The next few articles will examine this topic. You won’t want to miss it!

The article you are reading is part 2 of 2 in a series:

Children's Media Use

About the Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media... Read More

Tagged as: Sleep Problems, media, youth