Media News - Wednesday, August 08, 2012
What your kids watch on TV can affect how well they sleep, a new study suggests. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study found that when parents intervened in their kids’ media diet - reducing exposure to violent and age-inappropriate content and replacing it with age-appropriate, educational and empathy-building content such as "Curious George,""Sesame Street" and "Dora the Explorer" - the children had fewer sleep problems, less aggression, and increased empathetic and friendly behaviors. Child sleep problems include difficulty falling asleep, night wakings, nightmares, difficulty waking and daytime tiredness. All have been linked to higher rates of injuries, behavioral and emotional problems, obesity and difficulties in school later on. “A lot of studies are focused on tailoring the amount of TV [children watch] or trying to get people to stop altogether," said Michele Garrison of Seattle Children's Research Institute, lead author of the new study. She and her colleagues took a different tack. "We looked to have parents make a more feasible change - switching to more age-appropriate content,” she said. The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, involved 565 children of ages 3 to 5 from the Seattle metropolitan area over a period of 18 months, and their families. (LA Times)
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