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The Media and Sleep

Sleeping girl with a hand in her snacks.Research describing concern about media use and sleep in children dates at least to the 1970’s.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says:

“a 1981 study of middle-class children in Indiana found an association between TV viewing and both shorter daytime naps and shorter nighttime sleep among toddlers. Such results have been replicated subsequently and seem to have grown stronger with time.


The Media and Sleep

Sleepy schoolboyParents pass many good traits to their kids. One of these traits can be a lifetime of good sleep habits.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says, ”Sleep is the subject of some confusion and considerable anxiety among parents of infants, but fades gradually to an afterthought among most parents of older children, who struggle to maintain busy schedules, enforce homework, and endorse healthy social lives. In the effort to balance these needs, children’s sleep often takes a back seat.”

On the Kaiser Family Foundation web site, they explained this issue:

PositiveTip for

One in Five Toddlers Has Their Own TV

Toddlers without TVs in their rooms experience more weekly outings and have lower risk of obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Public Health Division has revealed that almost one in five two year olds has a television in their bedroom.

These children watch more than two hours of programming every day. Excessive exposure of infants to television is associated with impaired cognitive, language, and emotional development as well as impaired sleep schedules and increased risk of obesity. The study showed that infants without TVs in their rooms were much more likely to experience 4 or more outings away from home each week.

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Short Sleep Risk Factors in Infants

Early solid food and television viewing linked to shorter infant sleep duration.

Many parents believe that solid food before bedtime enhances the sleep duration of their infants. However, researchers have highlighted that the early introduction of solid food and television viewing are significant risk factors for shorter sleep through two years old. At age one year the impact of solid food introduced before 4 months of age was greater than maternal prenatal depression. Amazingly, each hour of television viewing per week shortened sleep by .11 hours per day!

PositiveTip: Babies need to be breast fed if at all possible until they are really ready for solid foods. Keep the TV off too!

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TV Watching May Make Your Kids Fat

Viewing television and computer use contribute to obesity in kids.

Watching television is very common among youth, as is computer use, and both of these are related to childhood obesity. The reason for this relationship seems to be two-fold: watching television not only takes away from time when kids would otherwise be physically active, but they also tend to snack while watching TV. Computer use and eating do not usually occur together, but excessive computer use also absorbs significant time when kids should be physically active.

PositiveTip: Observe when your kids usually watch television and use the computer--then plan a routine where you regularly walk or play with them at that time.

Watching TV Will Make You Diabetic

Watching TV will Make You Diabetic Watching TV is bad for your health. Watching TV will make you diabetic. Here is the story. The TV viewing habits of more than 50,000 women from 11 states were recently analyzed as part of the Nurses’ Health Study.TV Diabetes

During six years of observation, 1515 of these formerly healthy women developed diabetes. The TV viewing habits of these women were factored in with interesting results.The women who watched 40 hours of TV per week were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the 6 year period compared with those who only watched 1-2 hours of TV per week.

Watching TV Will Make You Fat

High Definition TV and huge screens have enhanced our home entertainment. Add surround sound and we are immersed in sights and sounds that are truly mesmerizing. Unfortunately, the experience is entirely passive. You don’t have to move a muscle. You just sit there watching and snacking.TV Viewing and Risk of Obesity