Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Screens in the bedroom may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Having bedroom access to television, computers or video games is linked to less sleep in boys with autism spectrum disorder.

Having bedroom access to television, computers or video games is linked to less sleep in boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a team of University of Missouri researchers found.

"Previous research has shown that bedroom access to screen-based media is associated with less time spent sleeping in the general population," said Christopher Engelhardt, a post-doctoral research fellow at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders and the MU School of Health Professions. "We found that this relationship is stronger among boys with autism."

Engelhardt and his colleagues examined the relationship between media use and sleep among boys with autism compared to typically developing boys or boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They surveyed parents of boys with ASD, parents of boys with ADHD and parents of typically developing boys about the children's hours of media use each day, bedroom access to media, and the average hours of sleep they received per night. The MU researchers found a relationship between bedroom access to a television or computer and reduced sleep among boys with autism. Additionally, they found that average video-game exposure was related to less time spent sleeping among the boys with ASD.

"Even though our findings are preliminary, parents should be aware that media use may have an effect on sleep, especially for children with autism," Engelhardt said. "If children are having sleep problems, parents might consider monitoring and possibly limiting their children's media use, especially around bedtime."

Engelhardt says future research should further explore the processes by which bedroom access to media could contribute to sleep disturbances in children with ASD.

"Our current results were cross-sectional, meaning that we are not able to determine whether pre-bedtime media exposure causes some children with autism to sleep less," Engelhardt said. "However, the relationship between bedroom media access and sleep was particularly large among boys with autism, suggesting that we should continue to carefully research this possibility."

About one in 88 children are on the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASD is characterized by social and communication difficulties as well as repetitive behaviors. Sleep problems also are highly prevalent in children with autism and may have many different underlying causes. Media use may exacerbate some of these underlying problems, and appears to be an area for future research in helping to improve sleep outcomes for children with autism, Engelhardt said.

"It is also important to note that some media use may also be beneficial for children with autism," Engelhardt said. "Future research is also needed to determine how video games and other technologies may be helpful in teaching and reinforcing skills and behaviors."

The study, "Media Use and Sleep among Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Typical Development," was published in Pediatrics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher Engelhardt et al. Media Use and Sleep among Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Typical Development. Pediatrics, November 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Screens in the bedroom may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119153025.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, November 19). Screens in the bedroom may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119153025.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Screens in the bedroom may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119153025.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins