Violent TV’s Effect on Children’s Sleep | Tips to Protect your Children

If you can’t watch something nice, don’t watch anything at all.  

In a recent study, researchers observed the sleep habits of 565 pre-school children. They found that those children who viewed age-innappropriate content before bed slept worse than those who did not. Some of you may think “well duh.” It doesn’t take a genius to know that letting your 4-year-old watch Saw 3 before bed is not a good idea. I mean, when I was in preschool Scooby Doo gave me nightmares!

But what some of you may not know is exactly how much watching violence can affect your child’s sleep. Even the smallest amount of violence a preschooler sees on TV can greatly impact his or her slumber. In fact, watching violence before bedtime disturbs their sleep so much that doctors are now saying preschoolers should not watch television with ANY form of violence in it.

So what do we do when even Scooby Doo doesn’t cut it anymore?

Try sticking to educational shows. Preschoolers should be learning how to count, spell and read, not how to catch creepy men dressed up as ghosts. It looks like Scooby Doo, Power Rangers and super heroes will just have to wait. “Content that’s funny for older kids can be too violent for really young children,” said study author Michelle Garrison of the Research Institute, according to HealthDay.

Some Suggested shows:

- Little Einsteins
- Dora the Explorer
- Veggie Tales
- The Backyardigans
- Sesame Street

Once you have decided which shows your toddler will watch, here is additional information for maximizing sleeping patterns. According to ABC Parenting, “Once asleep, most toddlers sleep through most nights without waking mum or dad. But, at this age, getting them to bed in the first place can be a challenge. Toddlers love to test their independence. A firm and consistent bedtime routine will win them over.  Here is a suggestion:

Bedtime routine

A consistent bedtime routine helps prepare a child for sleep. Most toddlers are ready for bed between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm. This is a good time as they sleep deepest between 8pm and midnight. A routine might look something like this:

6.30 pm: Brush teeth and change nappy
6.45 pm: Quiet time (read a book or tell a story)
7 pm: Into bed and kiss goodnight

NOTE: you can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors contact information below intact. Authors: Jada Collins, MA, MS. Host of the Jada Show – Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern | Edited by Bullying Expert Jim West, MA, LMHC, NCC | Author, International Communicator & Life Coach | Serving Orlando, Lake Mary, Winter Park, Southwest Orlando Florida | Faith Hall- Student Intern