TV Viewing Linked to Irregular Sleep in Infants, Toddlers

Pediatricians should support American Academy of Pediatrics' guidelines, authors conclude

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Television and video viewing is associated with irregular sleep schedules in infants and toddlers, according to a retrospective cohort study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Darcy Thompson, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues studied data from the National Survey of Early Childhood Health including 2,068 children ages 4 months to 35 months. Mean daily television viewing was 0.9 hours for children under age 12 months, 1.6 hours for children ages 12-23 months and 2.3 hours for children ages 24-35 months. The authors found that 34% of the children had irregular naptime schedules and 27% had irregular bedtime schedules.

The number of hours watched by infants and toddlers was associated with an irregular sleep schedule. The study may offer one more reason why pediatricians and parents should support the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, which recommend that children under age 2 watch no TV and children over age 2 watch no more than two hours per day, the authors conclude.

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