(HealthDay News) For children, television viewing time is inversely associated with sleep duration, according to a study published online March 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Marcella Marinelli, PhD, from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues examined the correlation between hours of television viewing and sleep duration in a cohort of 1,713 children. Parent-reported television viewing duration and sleep duration were measured in hours per day for children from Menorca (at ages 6 and 9 years) and Sabadell and Valencia (at ages 2 and 4 years).
The researchers found that children with longer periods of television viewing at baseline (≥1.5 hours per day) had shorter sleep duration in cross-sectional analyses. In longitudinal analyses, a reduction in sleep duration at follow-up was seen for children with reported increases in television viewing duration over time (from <1.5 hours to ≥1.5 hours per day). When examining television viewing as a continuous variable, results were similar, with decreasing sleeping duration seen at follow-up visits for each one-hour per day increase in viewing. Similar associations were observed on assessment of television viewing during weekends, and after adjustment for potential intermediate factors (including child executive function and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms) and confounders (including child physical activity, parental mental health status, and maternal IQ and marital status).
“Children spending longer periods watching television had shorter sleep duration,” the authors write. “Changes in television viewing duration were inversely associated with changes in sleep duration in longitudinal analysis.”