Less Screen Time, More Sleep, Better-behaved Kids

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.

School kids who get to bed early rather than staring at their devices at night may be better equipped to control their behavior, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that 8- to 11-year-olds who got adequate sleep and had limits on “screen time” were less likely than their peers to report problems with impulsive behavior.

Impulsivity is generally described as a tendency to act without thinking, or an inability to wait for something you want. It’s a central problem in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Later in life, impulsivity may also make kids vulnerable to other problems, like substance abuse and other forms of addiction, said lead researcher Michelle Guerrero.

In general, the researchers found, kids were less likely to report impulsive behavior if they met recommendations for sleep and screen time. That meant nine to 11 hours of sleep each night and no more than two hours a day devoted to “recreational” screen time. (School work didn’t count.)

Why would screen time matter? Guerrero’s team points to one theory: Too much time on devices—which often demand immediate responses, whether on social media or in video games—may affect kids’ ability to self-regulate.

But the other issue, Guerrero said, may be what kids are not doing during those hours in front of a screen—like sleeping.

The findings, published online in Pediatrics, are based on over 4,500 Canadian kids aged 8 to 11.

In general, kids who fell short on sleep and spent too much time on screens had higher impulsivity scores. Exercise, on the other hand, did not show much of a connection.

While none of that proves cause and effect, both Guerrero and Gallagher said that parents can take away some practical messages. Guerrero suggested setting a time in the evening when devices have to be turned off—which should help kids get to sleep.

Source: MedicalXpress
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-08-screen-better-behaved-kids.html

Back to Top
[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA
      92693

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)

Close