Are your children addicted to TV? You must do something about it, as it may be affecting their sleep. According to a latest study, pre-schoolers who watch less than one hour of TV per day get 22 more minutes of sleep at night -- or nearly 2.5 hours per week -- than those who watch more than an hour of TV daily.
The study was published in Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. The findings said that excessive TV viewing may affect young children's sleep quality and duration of sleep. The results were measured by an actigraphic device kids wore like a watch on their wrist.
The findings stated that, while daytime napping was found to increase among the kids who watched the most TV, it did not fully compensate for the lost sleep at night.
"The good news is, this is addressable. Parents assumed that TV was helping their kids wind down. But it didn't work. Those kids weren't getting good sleep, and it wasn't helping them fall asleep better. It's good to have this data," said Rebecca Spencer, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the US.
A very diverse group of 470 pre-schoolers participated in the study, wearing actigraphs for up to 16 days. Their parents and caregivers answered questionnaires about demographics and the children's health and behaviour, including detailed questions on TV use.
Researchers said that on an average, children without TVs in their bedrooms were able to sleep 30 minutes more at night than those with a TV in their bedroom.
The findings of the researchers come on the heels of new guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which say children between age 2 and 4 years should have no more than one hour of "sedentary screen time" daily - and less or no screen time is even better.
Foods For Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is often not given the due attention it deserves. Inadequate sleep in linked with a number metabolic disorders. According to experts one must sleep for 8 hours a day; not doing so could lead to reduced brain activity, lack of focus, stress and obesity. What you eat is also closely tied with the quality of your sleep. You must not eat anything sugary too close tied to bedtime as it leads to energy spikes, and at that time your brain is actually looking to power down. Maintain a window of an hour between your dinner and bedtime. You should include foods that are packed with good carbs; look for foods that have a good tryptophan content. Tryptophan helps production of serotonin that helps you relax and sleep better. Foods rich in magnesium are also a good option as they help relax muscles. Here are some common sleep-inducing foods you can add to your diet to have a better quality of sleep.
5. Chamomile tea