The health impacts of screen time – a guide for clinicians and parents | Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
This guide provides a summary of existing research on the health effects of screen time on children and young people. It outlines recommendations for health professionals and families on screen time use.
Screen time guidance suggests parents approach screen time based on the child’s developmental age, the individual need and value the family place on positive activities such as socialising, exercise and sleep – when screen time displaces these activities, the evidence suggests there is a risk to child wellbeing.
Science Daily | November 2018 |Children’s sleep not significantly affected by screen time, new study finds
Earlier research has suggested that between 50 and 90 per cent of school- age children might not be getting enough sleep, citing digital technologies as a potential contributor to this. Now research findings from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, indicate that screen time has a modest impact on child’s sleep. The research team used data from the United States’ 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, which included parents from across the country whom completed self-report surveys on themselves, their children and household. The survey included questions that required caregivers to estimate their child/ren’s sleep duration over one day, if their child/ren went to bed at approximately the same time each night and the amount of time spent on digital screens (including mobile phones, computers, handheld video games and other electronic devices).
Although the study found a correlation, the lead researcher, Professor Andrew Przybylski, author of the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics explains it is modest. “The findings suggest that the relationship between sleep and screen use in children is extremely modest. Every hour of screen time was related to 3 to 8 fewer minutes of sleep a night.” (Via Science Daily)
Read the news story in full from Science Daily Children’s sleep not significantly affected by screen time, new study finds
To determine the extent to which time spent with digital devices predicts meaningful variability in pediatric sleep.
Following a preregistered analysis plan, data from a sample of American children (n = 50 212) derived from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health were analyzed. Models adjusted for child-, caregiver-, household-, and community-level covariates to estimate the potential effects of digital screen use.
Each hour devoted to digital screens was associated with 3-8 fewer minutes of nightly sleep and significantly lower levels of sleep consistency. Furthermore, those children who complied with 2010 and 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics guidance on screen time limits reported between 20 and 26 more minutes, respectively, of nightly sleep. However, links between digital screen time and pediatric sleep outcomes were modest, accounting for less than 1.9% of observed variability in sleep outcomes.
Digital screen time, on its own, has little practical effect on pediatric sleep. Contextual factors surrounding screen time exert a more pronounced influence on pediatric sleep compared to screen time itself. These findings provide an empirically robust template for those investigating the digital displacement hypothesis as well as informing policy-making.
Full reference: Przybylski, Andrew K. | 2018| Digital Screen Time and Pediatric Sleep: Evidence from a Preregistered Cohort Study | The Journal of Pediatrics| Volume 0 | Issue 0 |DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.09.054
May 2018 | Sleep better, parent better: Study shows link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting | Science Daily
A US study that looked at maternal sleep and parenting has found that for mothers who fell asleep easily or who slept for long periods their adolescent children reported lower levels of permissive parenting. By contrast, mothers were not receiving enough sleep, or receiving poor quality sleep, it had an effect on their levels of permissiveness with their adolescents. The researchers studied over 200 mothers and their adolescent children (average age 15). The mothers wore wearable technology that monitored their sleep quality, the young people completed questionnaires about their perception of their mothers’ parenting via Science Daily .
The full news article from Science Daily can be accessed here
Utilizing a multi‐method design, the present study examined the association between maternal sleep, assessed via actigraphy and self‐reports, and permissive parenting (e.g. lax, inconsistent discipline) during adolescence, as well as the extent to which this association differed by mothers’ race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The sample was comprised of 234 mothers (M age = 41.76 years, SD = 6.25; 67% European‐American, 31% African‐American, 2% other race/ethnicities) and 237 adolescents (113 boys, 124 girls; M age = 15.80 years, SD = 0.80; 66% European‐American, 34% African‐American). Mothers’ sleep duration (actual sleep minutes) and quality (sleep efficiency, latency, long wake episodes) were assessed using actigraphy. Mothers also reported on their sleep problems and adolescents reported on mothers’ permissive parenting behaviours. Results revealed that actigraphy‐based longer sleep duration and shorter sleep latency were associated with lower levels of permissive parenting. Further, mothers’ race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status moderated the association between actigraphy‐based sleep quality (i.e. sleep efficiency, long wake episodes) and permissive parenting. Specifically, a negative association between sleep efficiency and permissive parenting was evident only for African‐American mothers. In addition, a positive association between more frequent night wakings and permissive parenting was evident only for mothers from lower socioeconomic status households. The findings highlight the benefits of longer and higher‐quality sleep for reducing the risk of permissive parenting, especially among ethnic minority mothers and mothers from lower socioeconomic status households.
Tu, K.M. Elmore‐Staton, L, Buckhalt, J.A., El‐Sheikh, M. | The link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting during late adolescence | J Sleep Res. 2018;e12676. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12676
The article has been published in the Journal of Sleep Research
It can be requested by Rotherham NHS staff here
Teenagers with school starting times before 8:30 a.m. may be at particular risk of experiencing depression and anxiety due to compromised sleep quality, according to a recent study. | Sleep Health 2017 | story via ScienceDaily
The findings of this study provide additional evidence in the debate over how school start times impact adolescent health. The study, published in the journal Sleep Health found that Teenagers who start school before 8:30 a.m. are at higher risk of depression and anxiety, even if they’re doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep.
The authors used an online tool to collect data from 197 students across the USA between the ages of 14 and 17. All children and parents completed a baseline survey that included questions about the child’s level of sleep hygiene, family socioeconomic status, and their school start times. They were separated into two groups: those who started school before 8:30 a.m. and those who started after 8:30 a.m.
Over a period of seven days, the students were instructed to keep a sleep diary, in which they reported specifically on their daily sleep hygiene, levels of sleep quality and duration, and their depressive/anxiety symptoms.
The results showed that good baseline sleep hygiene was directly associated with lower average daily depressive/anxiety symptoms across all students, and the levels were even lower in students with school start times after 8:30. However, students with good baseline sleep hygiene and earlier school start times had higher average daily depressive/anxiety symptoms.
Link to the research: Peltz, J. S. et al. A process-oriented model linking adolescents’ sleep hygiene and psychological functioning: the moderating role of school start times Sleep Health
Full story at ScienceDaily
Around 75 percent of children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have sleep problems, but until now these have been thought to be separate issues | ScienceDaily
- In 75% of ADHD patients, the physiological sleep phase — where people show the physiological signs associated with sleep, such as changes in the level of the sleep hormone melatonin, and changes in sleep-related movement — is delayed by 1.5 hours.
- Core body temperature changes associated with sleep are also delayed (reflecting melatonin changes)
- Many sleep-related disorders are associated with ADHD, including restless-leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and the circadian rhythm disturbance, the delayed sleep phase syndrome
- ADHD people often show greater alertness in the evening, which is the opposite of what is found in the general population
- Many sufferers benefit from taking melatonin in the evening or bright light therapy in the morning, which can help reset the circadian rhythm
- Recent work has shown that around 70% of adult ADHD sufferers show an oversensitivity of the eyes to light, leading many to wear sunglasses for long periods during the day — which may reinforce the problems associated with a ‘circadian shift’.
- Chronic late sleep leads to a chronic sleep debt, associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. This cascade of negative health consequences may in part be preventable by resetting the sleep rhythm.
Read the overview via ScienceDaily here
Blake, M. et al. Sleep | Published online: 18 April 2017
Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based sleep intervention could improve sleep and anxiety on school nights in a group of at-risk adolescents. We also examined whether benefits to sleep and anxiety would be mediated by improvements in sleep hygiene awareness and pre-sleep hyperarousal.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that pre-sleep arousal but not sleep hygiene awareness is important for adolescents’ perceived sleep quality, and could be a target for new treatments of adolescent sleep problems.
Read the abstract here
One in five young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research | ScienceDaily
Over 900 pupils, aged between 12-15 years, were recruited and asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they woke up at night to use social media and times of going to bed and waking. They were also asked about how happy they were with various aspects of their life including school life, friendships and appearance.
1 in 5 reported ‘almost always’ waking up to log on, with girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys. Those who woke up to use social media nearly every night, or who didn’t wake up at a regular time in the morning, were around three times as likely to say they were constantly tired at school compared to their peers who never log on at night or wake up at the same time every day. Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were, on average, significantly less happy than other young people.
Read the full overview here
Read the original research article here