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Screen Time Has An Effect On Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, According to a Recent Study

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) journal released the most recent study on Tuesday, May 28, and it emphasizes the negative effects of excessive screen usage.

Children’s and teenagers’ sleep is hampered by screen time, according to the study. 16 eminent sleep specialists, including two from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), carried out the review. The study synthesizes results from more than 2,200 scientific publications to offer recommendations that are based on solid evidence.

Co-first author and former postdoctoral scholar Lauren Hartstein of CU Boulder’s Sleep and Development Lab said, “There’s a lot of research out there, but the messaging can be all over the place and people aren’t sure how and for whom media use is actually causing sleep disruption.”

The study not only discovered that youngsters are kept awake by screen time, but it also discovered that the majority of what keeps them awake is the information on the screen. Youngsters that play video games right before bed suffer from later bedtimes and less quality sleep.

Years of research also revealed that behavioral treatments and methods can lessen the negative impacts of screen use on sleep quality.

Regarding whether screen light affects other age groups, the panel of researchers could not agree. Additionally, they discovered inadequate data to conclude if screen usage, light, or content in general affects adult sleep. Adults’ “fully matured brains” and decreased vulnerability to social pressures like “fear of missing out” (FOMO) are the reasons behind this.

According to the study, teens have more difficulty sleeping because of the natural changes in their bodies.

“Their bodies are naturally shifting toward later bedtimes and they have to get up early for school, so they are often very sleep-deprived anyway and may be more susceptible to the impacts of media use,” Hartstein said.

Experts concurred that limiting children’s screen use, particularly at night, can promote earlier and deeper sleep. The impacts of screen time on children can be mitigated by parental participation and the establishment of sound boundaries.

“Addressing screen use in youth really involves the whole family,”  Hartstein stressed. “It’s important for parents to talk to children about how they use technology and how it could affect their sleep so they can build healthy habits that last a lifetime.”

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