Children aged 12 and below who use mobile phones, laptops, tablets or watch TV in a dark room before bedtime are at risk of getting poor sleep compared to preteens who use these devices in a lit room.
In a research conducted in the University of Lincoln, England, data was collected from 6,616 preteens on the usage of any devices an hour before sleep in both darkened and lit rooms.
The results revealed that, more than 70 percent reported using screen based device before resting at night, with those using the devices in lit room, were 31 percent more likely to get sleep than those who did not use any screen.
The risks increased to 147 percent when the same activity occurred in the dark.
Previous research have revealed the importance of of sufficient sleep, 9-11 hours, in childhood physical and mental development.
Lack of enough sleep is directly connected to poor performance in school as it is vital for intellectual processes.
Insufficient sleep has also been linked to impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in preteens and teenagers.
According to the lead author of the study Dr Michael Mireku, the research is the first to show how light in the room can factor the length is young people sleep and screen use.
“Our findings are important to the parents, teachers, health professionals and the teenagers themselves. The young people should be educated on the risks that come with screen use during bedtime, that is insufficient and poor sleep and the effect it has on their general health,” said Dr Mireku.