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TV Before Bedtime Linked to Kids’ Sleep Problems

A new study on nighttime TV viewing may help explain why your little one keeps waking up at night. The Seattle Children’s Institute studied TV habits and sleeping patterns of over 600 preschoolers, and not surprisingly, found that violent programming could have adverse effects on kids’ sleep. The 3- to 5-year-olds who watched violent shows before bedtime were more likely to have nightmares and other sleep problems.

Plus: Solve Your Kid’s Sleep Problems

The most compelling finding is that watching TV shows of any kind after 7pm—even if it’s educational or kid-friendly programming—can cause a child to have trouble falling asleep, nightmares, and wake up feeling tired.

Plus: How to Get Your Kid To Sleep in Her Own Bed

"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," study author Michelle Garrison, Ph.D. told CNN. She recommends parents avoid TV time at least an hour before kids’ bedtime.  

Plus: 6 Ways Sleep Keeps Kids Healthy

Do your kids watch TV shortly before going to bed? If so, will this study change TV habits in your household?