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Study: Kids Who Watch Age-Appropriate TV Sleep Better

Travis Huggett

Do you have a bad sleeper? The problem could be the wrong TV shows. A new study published in Pediatrics found that preschoolers who had too-violent or inappropriate media content replaced with TV and videos more geared toward their age experienced a decline in sleep problems.

Families with preschool-aged kids swapped in age-appropriate content over a 12-month period (they kept the amount of time watched the same), and found improvement in both nighttime sleep and daytime naps.

Plus: Great TV Shows for Preschoolers

So what exactly is age-appropriate content? For preschoolers, violent or adult-oriented shows are a clear no-no, but so are cartoons aimed at older kids, like SpongeBob SquarePants or Scooby Doo. "The fact that Bugs Bunny can be too violent for a 3-year-old is not something that always clicks with some families," Michelle Garrison of Seattle Children's Research Institute, lead author of the study, told USA Today. "Yes, they may know that (a preschooler) shouldn't watch the latest Transformers movie, but they may not necessarily make that same association with cartoons that have the more funny violence or the superhero violence, because some of the content is marketed toward preschool-age children."

Plus: How to Encourage Your Kids to Watch Less TV

Do you let your preschooler watch cartoons for older kids? If so, have you noticed any sleep problems? Leave a comment.