A new study states children get less sleep after spending more time in front of the screen.
The study conducted on over 1,800 children aged between 6 months to 8 years showed that children are getting reduced sleep. The researchers said it was a small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration.
The researchers stated that mere presence of a television in the room where a child sleeps affects their sleep. The link was significant in children from minority groups.
For the study, the researchers examined children along with their mothers who were enrolled in Project Viva. The project is a long-term study of the health effects of several factors during pregnancy and after birth.
They analyzed the information provided by mothers such as how much time each day infants were in a room where a television was on, the time older children watched television daily, whether children ages 4 to 7 slept in a room where a TV was present and their child's average daily amount of sleep.
The findings showed that each additional hour of television watching leads to 7 fewer minutes of sleep daily. The effects appeared to be more common in boys compared to girls, researchers noted.
Furthermore, the researchers stated that racial and ethnic minority children were much more likely to sleep in a room where a television was present and among these children television reduced average sleep around 30 minutes per day.
The findings of the study will be published in the May issue of the journal 'Pediatrics.'