BACKGROUND:

Television and insufficient sleep are associated with poor mental and physical health. This study assessed associations of TV viewing and bedroom TV with sleep duration from infancy to midchildhood.

METHOD:

We studied 1864 children in Project Viva. Parents reported children’s average daily TV viewing and sleep (at 6 months and annually from 1–7 years) and the presence of a bedroom TV (annually 4–7 years). We used mixed effects models to assess associations of TV exposures with contemporaneous sleep, adjusting for child age, gender, race/ethnicity, maternal education, and income.

RESULTS:

Six hundred forty-three children (35%) were racial/ethnic minorities; 37% of households had incomes ≤$70 000. From 6 months to 7 years, mean (SD) sleep duration decreased from 12.2 (2.0) hours to 9.8 (0.9) hours per day; TV viewing increased from 0.9 (1.2) hours to 1.6 (1.0) hours per day. At 4 years, 17% had a bedroom TV, rising to 23% at 7 years. Each 1 hour per day increase in lifetime TV viewing was associated with 7 minutes per day (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4 to 10) shorter sleep. The association of bedroom TV varied by race/ethnicity; bedroom TV was associated with 31 minutes per day shorter sleep (95% CI: 16 to 45) among racial/ethnic minority children, but not among white, non-Hispanic children (8 fewer minutes per day [95% CI: −19 to 2]).

CONCLUSIONS:

More TV viewing, and, among racial/ethnic minority children, the presence of a bedroom TV, were associated with shorter sleep from infancy to midchildhood.

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