Impulsive Behavior Linked to Sleep and Screen Time

Posted on August 15, 2019

A set of guidelines provided by the Canadian 24-hour movement suggests that youths spend no more than 2 hours a day facing the screen, and sleep for about 9 to 11 hours every night. An hour of physical activity daily is also encouraged. Children and adolescents who sleep less than the recommended duration and engage in excessive screen time have been found to behave more impulsively and develop poor decision-making skills.

Research conducted by the Health Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) recruited 4,524 children, studying their sleeping habits, participation in physical activity as well as the amount of screen-time they spent.

The study also assessed the participants’ level of impulsivity by measuring their tendency to participate in thrilling activities, responsiveness to negative events and likelihood to behave recklessly when experiencing positive or negative moods.

Findings of the research have indicated that following the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth has positive impacts on the participants’ measure of impulsivity. Children who slept for an adequate amount of time and restrict their screen-time exhibited better decision-making capabilities and were less likely to engage in reckless behaviors than children who do not heed the guidelines.

Given that recklessness is linked to problems such as mental issues and addiction, it is important to pay attention to the sleeping habits of children and limit their screen-time. A more in-depth study is needed to gain a better understanding of how screen-time, sleeping and physical activities contribute to the impulsivity of youths, and researchers have noted that feedback devices could be used in future studies to fulfill this purpose.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from Science Daily