Study reveals infants losing nighttime sleep from touchscreen use


“I think a lot of parents are concerned about the amount of sleep that their children are getting,” says of Heather Arnt, Red Door Pediatric Therapy.

Researchers at the University of London concluded that for every hour an infant uses a touch screen device, the child loses 15 minutes of sleep.

Doctors say infants need their sleep.. about 11 hours a day. This undoubtedly concerned local therapists and parents.

“There’s a lot of sensory input that comes especially with commercials and breaks in programming that is sort of a bombardment of sensory information that is either unexpected or done in a way that can kind of be an onslot of noise and colors,” says Arnt.

She says extended exposure likely contributes to any sleep deprivation a toddler might have.  There are techniques therapists use to influence a different kind of communication with the world.

Experts say environments like Red Door Pediatric Therapy’s sensory room can be more useful for older children and infants, replacing screen time with actual play, essentially helping them sleep easier.

Bismarck mom, Anna Thompson has two young children and says she was aware of this and other studies. So, she didn’t allow her twins to use touch screen devices until they were over two years old.

“I just believe that it’s more about person-to-person human interation and that’s the best way for kiddos to learn and grow and screen time just isn’t good for their developing brains,” says Thompson.

Still in the age of the cell phone, Arnt says it’s hard to completely ban your toddler and that everything in moderation may be more realistic.

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