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Study Finds Small But Consistent Association Between Increased Television Viewing and Shorter Sleep Duration

Update Date: Apr 14, 2014 09:10 AM EDT

A study, that followed more than 1,800 children from ages 6 months to 8 years, has confirmed an association between more television viewing and reduced sleep. The study found a small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration. 

According to study, the mere presence of a television in the room where a child sleeps affects the child's sleep. The association was significant in minority children. 

The study participants which included children along with their mothers were enrolled in Project Viva. The project is a long-term investigation of the health effects of several factors during pregnancy after birth. 

The study analyzed the information provided by mothers regarding their babies such as how much time each day infants were in a room where a television was on, how much 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.

Researchers analyzed that over the course of the study each additional hour of television viewing resulted in 7 fewer minutes of sleep daily. The effects appeared to be more stronger in boys compared to girls, researchers noted.

The study also revealed that racial and ethnic minority children were much more likely to sleep in a room where a television was present and among those children the mere presence of bedroom television reduced average sleep around a 30 minutes per day.

The findings of the study will be published in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics

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