Small Screens in Children’s Bedrooms Can Harm Sleep

Research has shown children who have a television ( in their bedrooms have later bedtimes ( and shorter sleep duration (

A new study shows similar sleep problems in children who have a “small screen,” such as a smartphone ( in their room. The study, “Sleep Duration, Restfulness, and Screens in the Sleep Environment,” ( published in the February 2015 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 5), surveyed 2,048 fourth- and seventh-graders about bedtimes, wake times, feelings of sleepiness and the presence of televisions, smartphones and other small screens in their bedrooms.

Children who slept near a small screen and children with a television in their bedroom had shorter weekday sleep durations. Children who slept near a small screen were more likely to report perceived insufficient sleep. TV or DVD viewing and video or computer gameplaying ( were also associated with shorter weekday sleep duration and sleepiness. Children with screens in their sleep environment and more screen time ( also had later bedtimes.

Study authors conclude the findings caution against children’s unfettered access to screen-based media in their bedrooms.