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The influence of sleep patterns and screen time on the sleep needs of infants and toddlers: A cross-sectional study

      Highlights

      • Children’s adherence to the recommended sleep standards is poor.
      • The most frequently used screen type in all of the age groups and parents was TV, followed by smartphone.
      • Sleep needs are predicted by bedtime, child PED usage, parental TV watching, and child care provided by a babysitter.
      • Parents and other caregivers should be well-versed in the effects of insufficient sleep and too much screen time.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of screen time and sleep patterns on the sleep needs of infants and toddlers.

      Design and methods

      A descriptive cross-sectional data were collected from 304 parents of children aged 6 to 36 months old. The screen use of children and parents was assessed with seven questions and A Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire (BISQ) was used to assess infant sleep.

      Results

      The results of this study indicate that children's adherence to the recommended sleep standards is poor. The most important criteria that caused poor sleeping were the number of awakenings at night, the duration of sleeplessness at night and the minimum total sleep time of <9 h. The most frequently used screen type in all of the age groups and parents was TV, followed by smartphones. As the age of the children increased, the rate of all screen-type use also increased. Factors predicting sleep needs included bedtime, the PED usage of children, parents' watching TV and care of the children by the babysitter.

      Conclusions

      Sleep needs are associated with the sleep patterns and screen usage of the children and parents.

      Practice implications

      Given that screen usage behaviors are tracked from infancy to early childhood, these findings highlight the need for prevention and intervention efforts, as well as for education and policy measures, to limit screen use and exposure from an early age.

      Keywords

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