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Take the Computers and TVs Out of Children’s Bedrooms

Update Date: Jul 26, 2013 03:29 PM EDT

With smartphones and tablets entering the media world, people are surrounded by several different screens every day. Although these devices are meant to make like simpler with their features and apps, some researchers have worried that these screens, which also include televisions and computers, could be negatively affecting people's social livee. Having a good social life, which includes events such as a date with friends or participating in weekend sports, contributes to a healthy mental state. In a new study, researchers once again advised parents to pay attention to the amount of time children spend in front of computers and TVs.

In this study, the researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland interviewed 353 children aged 10 to 11. The questions were focused on the time spent in front of the TV and computer and the number of hours of sleep. After 18 months, the researchers gathered the same children and quizzed them. The researchers found that the more time children spent in front of a screen, the later their bedtimes were. For school nights, children who watched more TV or used the computer slept less as well, which could affect their academic performance.

The study also reported that the presence of a TV or computer in children's bedrooms was associated with the loss of sleep. The researchers noted that TVs and computers seemed to affect boys more than girls. Children who spent more time with these devices were less likely to be physically active. The researchers recommend that parents remove both screens from the bedroom.

"Children need extra sleep as they go through puberty but our study finds that TV and computer use affect the sleep of children," researcher, Tejia Nuutinen said according to Daily Mail. "This is especially true during the week and may be impacting their school work as well as their development. Media viewing habits should be considered for kids who are tired and struggling to concentrate, or who have behavior problems caused by lack of sleep"

The study was published in the journal, BMC Public Health

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