Kids Are Being Kept Awake by Their Phones Even When They’re Not Using Them

Cell phones, tablets and computers are keeping children and teenagers awake at night—even when they’re not being used, new research has found.

The paper, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that media devices are contributing to reduced sleep quality and quantity, as well as trouble staying awake the next day. According to the study, 72% of all children and 89% of adolescents have at least one device in their sleep environment, with most of them used near bedtime.

After analyzing hundreds of relevant studies of children and teens aged 6-19, the researchers, led by Dr. Ben Carter, a senior lecturer in biostatistics at King’s College London, found a “strong and consistent association” between the use of technology at bedtime and poor sleeping.

The harmful association between screen-based devices and children’s and adolescents’ sleep is “a major public health concern,” the paper concludes.

Read the full article on the Time website or view the abstract for the report, Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

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