Thursday , September 29 2022

Ottawa researchers link children's impulsive behavior to sleep, screen time



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Regularly getting good sleep and limiting screen time can be key to reducing impulsive behaviors and poor decision making in children, according to local research on sleep and screen habits.

The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, was authored by researchers at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It analyzed the first set of data from more than 4,524 children in a large long-term study called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD), which will be followed by participants for 10 years.

The authors looked at eight measures of impulsivity, such as a child's tendency to seek out exciting experiences, set desired goals, respond sensitively to rewarding or unpleasant stimuli, and to act in a negative and positive mood.

"Impulsive behavior is associated with many mental health and addiction problems, including eating disorders, behavioral addictions and substance abuse," said Dr. Michelle Guerrero, senior author and postdoctoral fellow at the CHEO research institute and the University of Ottawa. "This study highlights the importance of paying close attention to sleep and recreational screen time, and strengthens the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. When children follow these recommendations, they are more inclined to make better decisions and take less action. ruthless than those who do not follow the guidelines. "

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth Recommend:

  • Between nine and 11 hours of sleep each night
  • No more than two hours of entertainment screen time daily

The results of the study suggest that meeting the pillars of the motion guidelines was associated with more favorable outcomes on five of the eight dimensions of impulsivity.

Guerrero and her team said that studies using feedback systems to measure movement behaviors in future research will help further understanding of how physical activity, screen time, and sleep are related to children's impulsivity.

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