Health Watch — School Days: Games and TV

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting ready to go back to school. Previously, we discussed getting back on a school-year sleep schedule by having kids get up earlier in the morning. That task will be easier if you look at what your kids do before they go to bed.

Dr. John Herman, a sleep expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the bright lights of computers, videogames and television can reset the body’s clock. Watching TV or playing computer or videogames within half an hour of bedtime stimulates the brain, making it harder to fall asleep. Dr. Herman recommends shutting off the electronics half an hour before bedtime and doing quieter activities such as reading. On the other hand, these activities in the morning before school can stimulate the brain to wake it up before the school day begins. 

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/sleep to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in sleep and breathing disorders.

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August 2008

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