Table Talk: Is Screen Time Hurting Your Sleep Schedule?

How Screen Time Affects Kids' Sleep Schedules

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Computers can help us do homework and keep in touch with our friends -- and most people like to relax in front of the TV every once in a while. But it's very important not to spend too much time in front of screens, in part because doing so could make us very tired. According to a new study, when kids use computers or watch TV, they tend to go to bed later and sleep less (with more time in front of screens making the problem worse). Having TVs or computers in kids' bedrooms contributes to the problem, too, by making the quality of sleep worse.

In other words, the less time you spend in front of a screen -- and the more sleep you get -- the more energy you'll have for all the fun things you have want to do on summer vacation. Going to bed around the same time every night, and getting enough sleep overall helps your brain to grow -- so tonight, let's talk about how we can keep healthy screen time habits all year long.

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the screen-time rules in your house?
  • How much time do you normally spend on the computer or watching TV every day?
  • Are there non-screen-related things your family can do together that you would like?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

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