Late Night TV Does Not Promote Sleep Time

Few parents would argue that watching television late at night doesn’t impact a child’s sleep patterns. However a new study from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute suggests that sleep disturbances in children are even greater if they have watched violent television or other media.

Studying more than 600 children between the ages of three and five, researchers asked parents to monitor and record their children’s media viewing for a week. During the same period, parents were asked to monitor their children’s sleep habits and pay particular attention to the occurrence of nightmares, trouble waking up in the morning and daytime fatigue.

Scientists discovered a significant increase in sleep problems for children who were exposed to violent media. The impact of the violent media was the same whether the child watched alone or with their parents. Animated versus live-action portrayals also had similar results.

For more information, Dr. Michael J. Breus, in his article "How TV Takes A Toll on Children’s Sleep", discusses the physical, behavioral and mental health consequences suffered by children with chronic sleep difficulties and offers ideas on television viewing for children.

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