Lifestyle & Belief

Violence on television hinders children's sleep, says study


A new study says that violent television may harm preschoolers' sleep.


Tim Boyle

A new study says that violence on television can hinder a child's sleep.

Researchers looked at the sleep habits of 565 pre-school children and found that those children who viewed age-innappropriate content before bed, slept worse than those who did not.

Children who viewed shows that were age-appropriate were 64 percent less likely to have a sleep disturance such as nightmares or trouble falling asleep.

Seattle Children's Research Institute doctors said that pre-schoolers should be kept away from any violence on television until they were older - even Bugs Bunny.

"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.

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"We really don't want them exposed to any violence at all."

ABC News reported that the new study adds to mounting evidence that television, movies and internet video, particularly those containing violence, disrupted sleep and led to health problems.

Instead of counting hours in front of the tube, this study was unique in that it looked specifically at content and was targeted to very young children.

"This study demonstrates that a healthy media use intervention can improve child sleep outcomes and adds evidence that the relationship between media and sleep in preschool-aged children is indeed causal in nature," said the researchers, according to CBC News.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.