A computer in your child's bedroom leads to poorer grades
RESEARCHERS said getting a good night's sleep is particularly important to pre-teens, and TVs and computers should be banned from children's bedrooms, scientists have said.
They warned that electronic devices can disturb sleep, leading to memory problems and poorer marks in school.
They added that sleep may be particularly important for pre-teens, who are about to go through puberty.
The Finnish researchers asked 353 children aged 10 to 11 about their TV and computer use and their sleeping habits and quizzed them again 18 months later.
The more a child played on the computer or watched the TV, the later they went to bed. They also slept less on school nights.
Having a TV or computer in the bedroom appeared to be particularly disruptive for boys, the journal BMC Public Health reports.
The University of Helsinki researchers said that children who play a lot on computers of TVs may exercise less and so be less tired at bedtime.
Hormonal changes brought on by the light of the screens could also make it more difficult to drop off.
Researcher Teija Nuutinen of the University of Helsinki said electronic devices should be kept out of children's bedrooms and added: 'Children need extra sleep as they go through puberty but our study finds that TV and computer use affects the sleep of children.
'This is especially true during the week and may be impacting their school work as well as their development.