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Poor sleep tied to use of media

June 10, 2008|Lynn Smith

Declining amounts and quality of sleep in U.S. children could be linked to changes in media use, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported Monday.

Children are more engaged in the Internet, video games, and cellphones than with older types of media, the report says, and may use them at times that interfere with sleep. Some children take their cellphones to bed.

The report called the evidence linking media use to sleep problems "thin but worrisome." Pediatricians have long known that adequate sleep ensures children's physical and men- tal well-being. Inadequate sleep has been linked to obesity, aggression and hyperactivity.

The report included several unanswered questions, such as whether some media work as a sleep aid for children, long-term effects, and whether media habits are reversible.

-- Lynn Smith

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