American kids watch a lot of television, and too much TV or computer time before bed can increase sleep problems in preschoolers, a study in the journal Pediatrics reports.
I guess it’s not surprising that exposure to violent or “scary” content during the day and any TV or other media viewing after 7 p.m. were particularly damaging. Nor was I stunned by the finding that kids who had TVs in their bedrooms watched more and were more likely to experience sleep problems.
While the results aren’t surprising, parents are still left with the challenge of finding good ways to limit their children’s exposure to TV and other media viewing. Certainly, summer weather helps so children can play outside for hours, but as any parent of young children today knows: avoiding the overwhelming focus on TV can sometimes be a challenge.
But, as the Pediatrics study suggests, the payoff in better sleep for the kids and for you would certainly be worthwhile.
The study by researchers at the Seattle Children’s Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle is a good reminder to parents to pay a little extra attention to their young children’s TV time and media content.
I know I’m going to try harder to limit TV time for my daughters, especially after 7 p.m. How about you?
Don’t forget that children and adults have different sleep problems. So if your child is experiencing sleep problems, the skilled specialists of Jefferson’s Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program within the Sleep Disorders Center can help. Our comprehensive pediatric program cares for children ages 3 and up.