Girl sleeping with headphones

The Media and Sleep

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Girl sleeping with headphonesA report from the Kaiser Family Foundation tells us:

There is good reason to believe that different media formats (e.g. television viewing, Internet use, cell phone use, electronic game-playing) have different kinds of effects on sleep.

Different types of content within these media formats presumably also have different effects—indeed it is possible that certain media content in certain formats can function as a healthy part of bedtime routines.

It is also possible that different types of media exposures may have different effects at different times of the day. There is so much that we don’t know yet about how the media impact sleep but as information emerges, we will continue to report it here.

A rich collection of scientific studies demonstrates a strong connection between poor sleep and a host of problems for children. Nearly every problem concerning parents and pediatricians can be brought on or exacerbated by inadequate sleep: from obesity to aggression to hyperactivity. Different media certainly has an influence on many of these processes that affect sleep.

When we sleep, our body is at rest, but our brain is not. It is active, and this activity is essential to almost all of the body’s business: from consolidating memories, learning, cognitive development, psychiatric health, healthy immune function, to bodily growth and repair.

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.