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Technology dominating kids evenings - study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Wednesday 16th January 2013

A study into the evening habits of children and teenagers has found that watching television and playing video games are the most popular pastimes, directly impacting on how quickly they manage to get to sleep. The University of Auckland research involved surveying over 2000 five to eighteen year olds, and revealed that pre-sleep activities such as reading and listening to music were far less popular than those involving ‘screen time’, with technology-based entertainment taking up at least 30 minutes for all respondents.

The researchers found that there was a direct correlation between the amount of time a child spent looking at a screen in the evening and how long it took them to fall asleep once they were in bed.

The findings back up similar evidence from earlier investigations into the impact of technology on sleep onset, including a study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY that focused on the melatonin suppressing effects of using tablet computers such as the iPad in the run-up to bedtime.

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