Screens in bedrooms (even turned off) hurt sleep quality, study says

Research has indicated screen time before bed can negatively impact sleep quality. However, many of us sleep with our phones or tablets plugged in next to the bed. Does the mere presence of a screen affect how we sleep? For kids at least, a new study says yes.


The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, examined data from over four hundred studies, including 125, 000 children between the ages of six and nineteen years. Unsurprisingly, researchers found a “strong and consistent” relationship between screen time at bedtime and inadequate sleep, poor sleep, and daytime sleepiness.


More unexpected, however, was the finding that children who had access to electronic devices at night, even if they didn’t use them, also suffered in their sleep lives. In other words, just knowing a smart phone or tablet was plugged in nearby was enough to affect kids’ sleep.


While experts have long recommended removing electronic devices from kids’ rooms, most have focused on the safety implications. Kids are much more likely to wander into online trouble with privacy, and any parent would be hard-pressed to monitor their children’s online activity while sleeping or from the other side of a closed door. However, these findings give parents even greater incentive to enforce screen-free bedrooms. Poor sleep hurts kids physically, emotionally, academically, socially– pretty much in every area of life.


You can read the full study here. To learn more about screen time and sleep quality, check out another post from our blog by clicking here!


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