Screen Time Near Bedtime Means Less Sleep for Kids

Survey found watching TV, playing video games before bed delays sleep.

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) — Children and teens who spend time watching television, playing video games or using the computer right before bedtime are likely to take longer to fall asleep than those who watch less or none, according to new research.

And that could add up to a sleep deficit, experts said.

“Reducing screen time in this pre-sleep window could be a good strategy for helping kids go to sleep earlier,” said study leader Louise Foley, who was a researcher at the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the time of the study.

Foley and her team zeroed in on how much TV watching and video game playing children and teens, 5 to 18, did in the 90 minutes before their bedtime. They also looked at how long it took them to fall asleep. The more screen time, the longer it took to doze off.

The study was published online Jan. 14 and in the February print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The findings are no surprise, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a distinguished professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Christakis has studied the effects of media use on children.

“There is growing evidence that media use around sleep time is bad for sleep initiation,” Christakis said.

The new study, he said, suggests that “it’s not so much having a bedtime for your children. You have to have a bedtime for their devices.”

Although previous research has found that television viewing and other “screen-time” activities are linked with a decline in the length of time children and teens sleep, the new study is believed to be the first to look at the pre-bedtime period by asking youth (or their parents, for the younger children) to account for their time in detail.

In the new study, the researchers found that about one-third of the 90 minutes before bedtime, on average, involved watching television, playing video games or working at the computer.

Engaging in such screen time, experts say, can cause arousal, making sleep difficult. The blue light from screens can affect circadian rhythms and adversely affect falling asleep.

Differences found between sleep onset were wide-ranging. For instance, those in the late group spent 13 more minutes of screen time before bed than did those in the early-to-sleep group.

Although the difference may seem small, it adds up to an hour less sleep over the school week.

The new study findings add to accumulating evidence about the problem of too little sleep in children and teens, said Dr. Roya Samuels, an attending pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

“We’ve seen so many studies over the past couple years that have concentrated on the effects of inadequate sleep,” she said. It has been linked with “all sorts of detrimental consequences on kids’ behavior patterns the next day — increased aggression, being hyperactive.”

Samuels blames lack of sleep in children and teens on a lack of proper winding-down activities — and often that’s because they are busy watching television or using the computer.

“Sleep is just as important in terms of growth and development as nutrition,” she said. “Kids need adequate sleep to grow emotionally, physically and mentally. Two hours before bedtime should be calm time.”

She said she realizes this is a challenge, with many parents juggling work and household and parenting demands, including homework supervision.

Foley suggested encouraging kids to try activities that don’t take place on-screen. The entire family could participate in a non-screen activity such as arts and crafts together right before bedtime, she said.

“It’s a lot easier for a child to reduce screen time if the whole family has made a commitment to watching less TV,” she said.

How much sleep is enough? Although people vary in their needs, the National Sleep Foundation suggests preschoolers need about 11 to 13 hours, elementary school children about 10 or 11 hours and teens 8.5 to 9.25 hours.Image

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Announces 2013 Funding Opportunities

ImageThe Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) announces its funding opportunities for 2013. There are two matching fund programs available – the Community Matching Grant and the Mini Community Matching Grant. Both grant programs require a 50 percent community match that can include volunteer labor, donated supplies, meeting space, professional services and/or cash that shows community investment and commitment to a project. 

The Community Matching Grant provides funds for projects that serve Initiative youth referred by one or more of the three SYVPI Neighborhood Networks located in Central, Southeast and Southwest Seattle. Available funding for each project is up to $20,000. The deadline to submit applications is Fri., Mar. 22 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit

The Mini Community Matching Grant seeks to supplement existing Initiative services by funding small community projects in each of the three Neighborhood Networks that serve youth referred by the Networks. Available funding for each project is up to $2,500. Applications for the Mini Community Matching Grant are accepted throughout the year. For more information, visit

The Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative sets a new direction by identifying and helping young people who are at a vulnerable point in their lives. It focuses on reducing and preventing youth violence in three neighborhoods where youth violence is highest: Central, Southeast, and Southwest Seattle. Currently more than 1,100 youth are served by SYVPI Neighborhood Networks that connect SYVPI youth to needed programs and services. Each Network is led by a community-based agency that coordinates youth referrals to services

Up-and-coming Canadian singer-songwriter Steph Macpherson

Up-and-coming Canadian singer-songwriter Steph Macpherson, who made an appearance at the 2010 Lilith Fair and has opened concerts for such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Tom Cochrane, Sugarland, Erykah Badu and Sheryl Crow, performs Jan. 9 at Seattle’s High Dive. It’s the opening show on her West Coast tour.

BC Musician magazine said this about Macpherson: “(Her) voice is clear, well-trained and hauntingly beautiful, and her vocal melodies are deadly infectious.”

“My parents once told me that as a small child, I would yell and squeal for no other reason than just the sheer joy of using my voice,” Macpherson says. “I loved creating sounds. Nothing has changed (well, not nothing), but I have learned a more pleasant way of expressing myself using the same tools.”

Macpherson, who blends folk, pop, rock and country, talks about her new album, “Bells  & Whistles” (Cordova Bay Records).

(Previously published at, GENE STOUT)

Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ goes platinum

Seattle rapper Macklemore may not be shopping at Goodwill anymore — at least not out of necessity. As of Thursday, he and his musical partner Ryan Lewis had sold one million copies of their single, “Thrift Shop,” which humorously praises the delights of finding great clothes on the cheap.

“Thrift Shop” was released in August, 2012 and has been on the Billboard singles charts 12 weeks, where it recently locked in the No. 10 spot. All of this is even more remarkable for the fact that Macklemore has no record contract, a trend increasingly common in the music industry.

Macklemore has had a strong Northwest following for some time, particularly since “My, Oh My,” a tribute to the late announcer for the Seattle Mariners, Dave Niehaus. But it was last year’s heartfelt support anthem for same sex marriage, “Same Love,” that catapulted MackLemore to national fame.

(Previously published at posted by Posted by Paul de Barros)

Sir Mix-a-lot and other music stars are featured in ‘Rockin’ Garages’ book

Sir Mix-a-Lot, Billy Joel, Sammy Hagar, J Geils, Keith Urban, Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) and John Oates (Hall and Oates) are among the music stars featured in the new book, “Rockin’ Garages: Collecting, Racing and Riding with Rock’s Great Gearheads” by authors Tom Cotter and Ken Gross (192 pages, $35, Motorbooks).

The book offers a pretty-cool, behind-the-scenes look at some big music celebrities and their automotive obsessions. Sir Mix-a-Lot is shown with his 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago, which he says he bought sight-unseen off eBay, and Hagar (“I Can’t Drive 55”) with his Mustang GTs and Ferrari 599 GTB. Photography is by Michael Alan Ross.

Sir Mix-a-Lot also talks about his first car, a 1969 Buick Electra 225:

“It was my first car, an ‘Exorcist’-vomit green, deuce-and-a-quarter,” he says. “It had a big dent in it. ‘Hooptie’ was what we called a raggedy old car back in the day.”

In the foreward, author Gross (a notable automotive journalist and guest curator at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma) writes:

“When Tom Cotter asked me to help with a book on rock musicians who are car enthusiasts, I thought it was a great idea.

“My uncle ran a jazz nightclub, and I worked there when I was a kid. My son Chris Barron is the lead singer of the triple-platinum award-winning rock group Spin Doctors.

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing a lot of musicians. And I’ve met a few rockers who were serious car guys. So I thought it would be easy … It wasn’t.”

(Previously published at GENE STOUT)

Tyrone releases the video to “The bug” featuring Delvon Lamarr of Lucky Brown / Vaughn

Tyrone releases the video to “The bug” featuring Delvon Lamarr of Lucky Brown / Vaughn

Artist: Tyrone

Video: “The Bug” video release

Tyrone releases “The bug”; video the prequel to the short-film video; “La Cucaracha”.

The song features Delvon Lamarr of Lucky Brown / Vaughn Kreestoe and was released

on Tyrone’s “Heavy Labor, no breaks” album.

The short film video’s theme and storyline is the prequel to the chase scenes of “La Cucaracha”. Agents Rodriguez and O’Malley receive their orders from Sergeant Demmings, review footage and prepare to pursue the suspect; Tyrone. The character (Sergeant Demmings) is played by up and coming actress Earlene Gross-Blake who has enjoyed the spotlight recently from her roles in a few nationally released television commercials focusing on breast cancer awareness.

The video and storyline was written and filmed by Tyrone and the Unified Outreach Youth Arts Program.

Tyrone’s videos add one more sprinkle of flavor to “the working class hero’s” music releases.

Being able to write, record, mix, film, and direct his own music and film, gives Tyrone the creative control to release exactly what he’s trying to “say” and “portray” in his releases.

The song “The Bug” is a verbal warning to the “hood” regarding changes in the law and government’ and how they affect the streets. Wrapped in a hypnotic-funk driven bass line, it has proven to be one of the favorites on the “Heavy labor, no breaks” album.

MBIZ a Hip hop new and media app; will feature and spotlight Tyrone’s videos, exclusive interviews and new music releases. With daily updates users can keep up with new music videos, mix tapes and new directly to their phone.

Be on the lookout for more amazing music, incredible videos and short films from Tyrone. For more info, to hear album, read reviews, watch videos, view discography, or download “The Bug” for free!! Go to… On YouTube @  tyronesmusic1/youtube

Tyrone is also available for interviews, appearances; productions and booking please contact or visit,