home
RSS
TV affects sleep of preschoolers
June 27th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

TV affects sleep of preschoolers

Watching violence on television or TV before bedtime can lead to sleep problems for preschoolers, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Experts have known for some time that too much TV time can negatively impact our sleep, but this new research finds that what young children watch and when they watch it can make a difference as well.

The study looked at the television viewing habits and sleep problems of more than 600 preschoolers in Seattle, Washington. When children watched age appropriate TV in the morning or afternoon, they didn't have problems with their sleep, but when the shows contained violence, young people were more likely to experience nightmares and walk up feeling tired.

Part of the problem, researchers say, is that younger children are watching shows meant for older kids, and preschoolers can't yet distinguish fantasy from reality.

"For a 7- to 10-year-old they are really at a point where cognitively they can grasp that that's not real violence and they can see the humor in it – it's not frightening for them. But 3- to 5-year-olds just aren't developmentally there yet," explains study author Michelle Garrison, Ph.D., with the Seattle Children's Research Institute.

Garrison also found that watching television right before bedtime made it more difficult for children to get to sleep, meant  more nightmares and waking up during the night,  even if the shows were educational and geared specifically for young children.

"Screen time during the hour before bed can get kids more aroused and then they're going to have a harder time falling asleep," explains Garrison.

She suggests parents turn the TV off at least 60 minutes before kids get tucked in.

Shows that are meant for adults carry risks as well, she says, and she advises parents not to watch potentially violent programs such as the evening news when children are in the room.

"Even if they think the child isn't paying attention, the child is absorbing it and they'll see shootings and war footage and they really don't have the capacity to understand that that's not necessarily happening right there is their neighborhood right now," says Garrison.

Children who had televisions in their rooms tended to watch more than other children and saw more violent programming. When parents were asked about having a set in the bedroom, many said they thought it would help their child sleep, but this is not what the research shows.

"Sometimes parents will look at their child zoned out in front of the TV and think they are really relaxed. But often when kids get that glazed over, zoned out look they are actually over stimulated and not relaxed," explains Garrison.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preschoolers watch no more than two hours of television a day. High quality programming geared for this age group offers not only educational benefits, the Academy points out, but can help with building social skills as well.

"It can help children learn about cooperative problem solving, about how to negotiate things, help them learn empathy," says Garrison.

Experts offer these tips to help parents with their children's viewing habits. First of all, take the television out of the bedroom and watch TV with your child whenever you can.

"And watch what you watch; in other words, is that something that you think is appropriate for your child. You may want to watch the program first to see if it's ok for your child to watch or if it's too intense. And finally, don't be afraid to turn the TV off," says Pediatrician Don Shifrin, former Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Communications

Another good source for families is Common Sense Media, according to Garrison. This website offers reviews on TV programs and movies, looking at the levels of violence, scary content and educational value.


soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Fókuszpályázat

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

    https://g.page/fokuszpalyazat

    February 9, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/kezdolap/akar-60-millios-tamogatas-vallalkozasok-fejlesztesere

    you are in reality a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterwork. you've performed a excellent task on this matter!

    http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/kezdolap/akar-60-millios-tamogatas-vallalkozasok-fejlesztesere

    February 9, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. AhbzEncox

    cash converters loan process payday loan but no debit card wells fargo cash advance interest

    February 11, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LabxEncox

    can i take 2 5mg cialis pills viagra is stronger than cialis order cialis online no prescription

    February 11, 2021 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. KvaxMile

    arizona law regarding payday loans start payday loans online business american express cash advance atm limit

    February 11, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. AbcfTeneseelt

    overnight viagra with dapoxetine http://viagriyvik.com/ viagra overnight shipping no prescription

    February 11, 2021 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. NbnhZisse

    sildenafil tablets for sale where can i buy viagra without a prescription buy generic viagra no prescription

    February 12, 2021 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JbbnEncox

    site sГ©rieux pour acheter cialis blackmarket cialis best use of cialis

    February 12, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. FbsgZisse

    cheap cialis canadian http://llecialisjaw.com/ cialis online purchase

    February 13, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kbbfseelt

    overnight brand viagra can i buy viagra using paypal viagra without prescription\'

    February 13, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. tadalafil

    side effects of tadalafil tadalafil 30 mg tadalafil e20 pill

    February 14, 2021 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FqbbEncox

    part time payday loans online payday loans south dakota payday loan no credit check instant payout

    February 15, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JbnvCrulk

    flint mi payday advance payday loan brampton ontario payday loan companies in calgary

    February 15, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 1500 USA-Visitors-Daily

    500000 Scrapebox Blast Live SEO blog Comment Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842132/500000-Scrapebox-Blast-Live-SEO-blog-Comment-Backlinks

    https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan

    February 16, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cQwaqHGzA

    NkdzWUgXhvJs

    February 18, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services

    https://bit.ly/3iYGuRO

    February 19, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. fda hydroxychloroquine

    hydroxychloroquine side effects heart hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets hydroxychloroquinr

    February 20, 2021 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. where can i purchase zithromax

    zithromax dosis buy zithromax cheap what is zithromax prescribed for

    February 24, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to Guest


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.