Children’s Media Use and Sleep Problems

Dazed boy playing a video game.The following information comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation website in a report called Children’s Media Use and Sleep Problems: Issues and Unanswered Questions.

Research shows that poor sleep causes a wide variety of problems among children. Many of the issues faced by parents and pediatricians — from obesity to aggression to hyperactivity — are caused or increased by inadequate sleep.

A lot of people don’t know that while the body rests, the brain does not. The first system to suffer from poor sleep is the brain’s ability to organize activities and pay attention. These are referred to as executive functions.

Research suggests that insufficient sleep affects the immune system and the body’s ability to regulate metabolism. This can at least partially explain conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Insufficient sleep also impairs creativity and memory, and increases accidents, injuries, school failure and other behaviors.

Sleep plays a role in very important health related conditions and inadequate sleep can increase obesity and diabetes — both very serious conditions that are more and more prevalent today.

So how does this relate to your kids use of Internet and television, which are both behaviors known to interfere with childrens’ amount of sleep?

We will be answering that question in future posts from this series. You won’t want to miss them!