Encourage Parents to Help Children Sleep Better By Watching Age Appropriate Television

Target: Parents.com

Goal: Tell more parents about a recent study about helping children sleep by choosing more age-appropriate TV shows

A new study of 3- to 5-year-olds was recently released that sheds new light on how children’s minds react to media an hour before bed time. It concluded that children who watch age appropriate shows an hour before bed time were 64 percent more likely to have an easier time going to sleep and staying asleep. It also says that even shows with really good content can sometimes still be a problem.

Age appropriate TV is not as easy to spot as most parents might think. The study found that shows like Spongebob Squarepants that are created for kids fall into the violent category. The concept of slap-stick humor found in most cartoons is too new and advanced for a young child to digest before bedtime when their brains should be slowing down.

Media with superheros were also found to be too violent for young children an hour before bedtime. Lasers blowing up objects, fights with villains, and, sometimes, death, are images frequently used in media with superheros. These violent ideas are age inappropriate.

Parents’ selection of age appropriate TV, movies, or online activities are imperative for having good sleep. This means no images of violence including blood, death, or weapons in the content of the media. The research suggests that shows like Sesame StreetCurious George and Dora the Explorer are more age-appropriate for children ages 3 to 5. Parents can choose to play these shows for their children to entertain them an hour before bed without overstimulating them.

“Clearly, children process information while they sleep. If it’s the last thing they do before bed, they’ll be processing that as they sleep,” said Dr. Sangeeta Chakravorty, director of the Pediatric Sleep Evaluation Center at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Because young children are easily stimulated, it is best to keep that stimulation minimal the hour before bed. The research suggests that, ideally, no child in this age group would be engaged with media an hour before bedtime. But, sometimes it is hard for parents to deny their children what they want. And sometimes a child wants to watch a show or a movie before bed. If parents don’t want to turn down their child’s wish to watch media, a simple switch to watching only age appropriate media will help the child get restful sleep.

Tell Parents.com, a leading news outlet for parents, to share this information with parents of young children by signing this petition.


Dear Parents.com,

New research was recently released about the benefits of showing age-appropriate media an hour before a child’s bedtime. The study was published in the scientific journal Pediatrics in September. The study of 3- to -5-year-olds concluded that children who watched age-appropriate media an hour before bed were 64 percent more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.

Researchers from the study say that no media an hour before bedtime is ideal, but for children who insist on watching media like TV or movies before bed, showing age-appropriate shows that do not show violence or concepts that would stimulate a young child’s mind is a simple change that will help parents put their children down for bedtime.

Please, help more parents learn about this study and the benefits of showing age-appropriate shows by hosting the information on your site.


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One Comment

  1. Violence in TV and movies educate and suggest violent behavior in our kids.

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