While past studies have linked televisions in children’s rooms to a reduction in sleep, until recently few studies examined how kids’ sleeping patterns are impacted by smaller electronics such as smart phones and tablets.
Studies on the impact of small electronics and quality of sleep are emerging now, and the findings are not good.
In fact, in one recent study, researchers found that children who slept near small screens—including those on phones and other portable electronics—reported about 21 minutes less sleep than peers who slept in electronic-free bedrooms. The kids who slept near electronics also reported feeling more sleep deprived.
Why are televisions and other electronics having such a negative impact on sleep? There are a number of possible reasons, including bright lights, sounds and alerts.
Twenty one minutes less sleep per night might not seem like a big deal, but reduced or interrupted sleep is linked to all sorts of unsavory things including obesity and poor school performance.
Bottom line, experts are suggesting keeping children less than two years old away from electronic screens altogether, and creating “screen-free zones” for older children. And one of those zones, clearly, should be the bedroom.