Kids' Sleep Problems

By Health Day

A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, may help you decide how to shape those viewing habits. The study focused on more than 550 children three to five years of age. Researchers wanted to know whether changing the type of media they watched improved their sleep. Half of the families were assigned case managers who helped them replace violent or age-inappropriate media with educational, age appropriate content. Parents were also encouraged to watch with their children.

The other half received no media counseling. Both groups filled out three questionnaires over 18-months.Researchers looked at how long it took the children to fall asleep, the amount of times they woke up during the night, the number of nightmares, degree of difficulty waking up in the morning and daytime sleepiness.

They found the children who watched what they termed healthier media had significantly lower odds of sleep problems.

The researchers recommend that doctors and parents consider media choices in the prevention or treatment of child sleep problems. I'm Dr. Cindy Haines with health information for your entire family.

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