We spend a lot of time talking about sleep problems in children. One problem that comes up again and again is television. This month another study was published in Pediatrics demonstrating the associations between TV and sleep problems in children. This study focused on preschool children, ages 3-5 years. Many families with young children will use television as part of a bedtime routine. Studies have reported 20%-43% of children this age have television in their bedrooms! It is important for families to realize the impact this may have on the quality and timing of a child’s sleep.
Key findings include…
•Sleep problems are common at this age, reported by 18% of families.
•Overall, the incidence was much higher (29%) in children with bedroom TVs.
•Each additional hour of television use in the evening resulted in significant increases in sleep problems.
•Each additional hour of violent media (fantasy, slapstick, and sport violence included) at any time resulted in significant increases in sleep problems.
Please, think carefully about when your children watch television, what kind of television they watch, and how much they watch overall. Especially if they are having difficulty sleeping or seem tired during the day.