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How we’re handing insomnia down to our children

I'm not talking about whether insomnia is hereditary today. Instead, I want to look at an external influence that is harming the sleep of our children.

Since childhood insomnia can lead to the development of chronic insomnia (and related conditions) later in life, it's important that we take the sleep health of our children seriously.

A survey out of Australia suggests that time spent watching TV and using the computer is harming the sleep of children as young as 2.

The survey was only small (it involved 101 individuals) - but the results were startling. 54% of the children aged from 2 to 5 years old had sleep problems.

Those who spent the most time watching TV (not violent shows this time) or using a computer or tablet were the worst sleepers.

95% of the children watched TV for an average of 1 hour per day.
64% of the children used computers or tablets for an average of 19 minutes per day.

Some of the children were using these devices for up to 3 hours per day, which put them at a higher risk for sleep problems.

Fortunately, most kids will grow out of any sleep problems they suffer at a young age. However, there are things you can do to improve their sleep:

  • Develop a set routine,
  • Restrict exposure to the TV and other electronic devices,
  • Make sure the bedroom isn't too warm or too cold (60°-65°F is a good range).

Finally, if you're wondering how much sleep a child aged 2-5 should be getting, it's around 11 or 12 hours.

Source: The Age

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Last updated: January 7, 2015

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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