Victoria Times Colonist recently reported that television before bed can negatively affect the quality of children’s sleep and behaviour. The effects, from a study completed by Seattle’s Children’s Research Institute, indicate that watching t.v. before bed can contribute to childhood nightmares, night waking, and daytime fatigue, regardless of the content and quality of the programming.
Short term effects of sleep deprivation include an increase in behavioural problems and risk of injury. Longer term effects of sleep deprivation include an increase in occurrence of depression, anxiety, obesity, and poor grades in school.
To help your child get a good night’s rest, I recommend the following:
1. Have a consistent bedtime routine for your child (e.g. bath, pajamas, brush teeth, bed).
2. Create a calm, relaxed atmosphere at bedtime.
3. Replace T.V. time with reading a book with your child.
4. Put your child to bed at an early time, and aim for 10-11 hours of sleep every night.