Sleepy schoolboy

The Media and Sleep

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Sleepy schoolboyParents pass many good traits to their kids. One of these traits can be a lifetime of good 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.”

On the Kaiser Family Foundation web site, they explained this 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But given the many changes in young people’s media environments, this evidence base is out of date.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 are our kids’ sleep patterns affected by the media to which they are subjected?

Here is a hint: The media our kids use is indeed affecting their sleep. This series of posts will examine this topic. 

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 Impact Research.