Most parents realize that screen use too late in the evening can impair their child's sleep. But according to some research, the content a child watches can also impact sleep – even if they watch during the day. At 5 Little Monkeys, our mission is to help kids everywhere get healthier, more restful sleep through our parent-approved kids mattress, but we strive to be a resource to parents on every aspect of sleep. So today, we'd like to shed some light on how violent content can impact a child's sleep.
How Violent Content Affects Sleep
In a 2011 study, researchers Michelle M. Garrison, Kimberly Liekweg, and Dimitri A. Christakis set out to better understand the role that different types of content might play in affecting a child's sleep, particularly as it relates to the level of violence in the content. The researchers examined how much television kids watched, how late in the day they watched it, whether the content was violent or not, and whether or not the kids had a TV in their room. What they found might surprise you.
Predictably, the data showed that the later in the evening a child watched TV, the worse their sleep was. But the study also found that kids who watched violent content also suffered a negative impact on their sleep, even if they watched the content during the day. Nonviolent daytime TV didn't seem to have an effect on sleep, but if the TV content was violent, even watching it during the day negatively affected kids' sleep.
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This is an important thing to know for parents, as it means that it's important to focus not only on the length and timing of screen use, but also on the violence of the content that kids consume. Limiting consumption of violent content and keeping screen use earlier in the day is one great way to promote healthier, restful sleep – but don't forget that your child's mattress matters just as much as the TV they're watching. Want to give your child the gift of better sleep? Take our 100 Night Rest Test and try our beloved kids mattress 100% risk-free today. We can't wait to help you and your child experience the power of healthy, restful sleep!