A new study from The University of Alberta found a direct connection between the sleep habits of children, their access to electronics, and the likelihood of obesity.
While most kids have a television in their room these days, it may be causing them to lose sleep necessary to their development. The study found that children who had access to at least one electronic device before bed were 1.47 times as likely to be obese.
Furthermore, researchers found that the more electronics a child had access to, the more likely they were to be obese. Children with access to a computer, cell phone, and television were 2.57 times as likely to be obese compared to children with access to none of these electronics.
The study looked at over 3,400 fifth graders from Alberta, who detailed their nightly routine and described their access to electronics. Over half had access to a DVD player, television, or video game console, 21% had access to a computer and 17% had cell phones.
Nearly two thirds of the children were not getting near the recommended amount of hours of sleep every night. The researchers believe that the children’s overall health and wellbeing could be greatly improved by getting as little as one hour more of sleep per night.
Better sleep health has been related to a healthier lifestyle, academic success, and less moodiness in adolescents. The researchers believe that getting electronics out of the bed room is one step in the right direction.