A new study finds more screen time may mean less nighttime sleep for infants

In a new study published in BMJ Open, Jennifer A. Emond, James O’Malley, and colleagues report on the associations between infant exposure to screen media and sleep as infants aged from 3 to 12 months old. In a collaboration with Sara Benjamin-Neelon (Johns Hopkins), the team utilized data from Dr. Benjamin-Neelon’s Nurture birth cohort, a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of infants and their mothers. Mothers reported on their infants’ usual use of five screen media activities (e.g., TV viewing) and the time their infants slept during the day and night, each at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-partum. Findings demonstrated that infants with greater levels of screen exposure during the day slept less at night, while daytime sleep was not affected. While continued research is needed to understand causality, the study is the first prospective study supporting that screen time during infancy may be detrimental to the development of healthy sleep habits.

Link to the study: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/6/e044525

Link to coverage: https://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/news/2021/baby-wont-sleep-two-tips-from-new-baby-sleep-research-fatherly/