WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Children who meet sleep and screen time recommendations have lower levels of impulsivity, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Pediatrics.

Michelle D. Guerrero, Ph.D., from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and colleagues examined individual and concurrent associations between meeting the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (nine to 11 hours of sleep, no more than two hours of recreational screen time, and 60 minutes or more of physical activity) and dimensions of impulsivity among 4,524 children aged 8 to 11 years.

The researchers observed correlations for adherence to individual movement behavior recommendations and combinations of adherence to movement behavior recommendations with each dimension of impulsivity. Meeting all three movement behavior recommendations was correlated with lower positive urgency, negative urgency, Behavioral Inhibition System, greater perseverance, and better scores on delay discounting. Correlations were seen for meeting the screen time and sleep recommendations with less impulsive behavior on all dimensions of impulsivity: negative urgency, Behavioral Inhibition System, Behavioral Activation System (BAS) reward responsiveness, BAS drive, BAS fun seeking, and the delay-discounting task.

“Our findings have important implications for pediatricians, psychiatrists, educators, parents, and policy makers as they suggest that strategies to limit recreational screen time while simultaneously promoting early, routine bedtimes and more sleep may enhance the treatment and prevention of impulsivity-related psychiatric disorders,” the authors write.

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