Children who use devices before bed get less sleep, new study confirms

A University of Otago study has confirmed what many will have already suspected - children who use mobile devices before bed tend to get less sleep than those who don't.

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Dr Michael Hlavac of Otago University talks about the study's findings. Source: Breakfast

The study, carried out by University of Otago student Kate Ford, also found that children who get to choose their own bed time also get less sleep.

Speaking this morning to Breakfast, respiratory and sleep physician Dr Michael Klavac said the study was carried out among 11-to-13-year-olds, which is a crucial stage due to body clocks developing.

"This is at an age where children are just starting to change their body clocks and they're really vulnerable to changes in sleep timing.

"This is the time when we should be setting good sleep habits and routines and education.

"The Ministry of Education says children of this age should get between 9-11 hours of sleep each night."

Dr Klavac said the main issue with using devices before bed was the light being shone into the eyes, which could trick the body into thinking it should be awake.