I’m a nationally published sleep expert, journalist, and the mom of three young kids. I’ve been helping tired families sleep since 2007 (more about me here). Subscribe to The Well Rested Family for fresh news and tips on keeping your bunch happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

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Entries in television (2)

Tuesday
Mar132012

King 5 Parent to Parent: Living Green

Check out my latest Parent to Parent segment on King 5 about growing up green. I'm discussing my March cover story for ParentMap magazine and offering easy tips for families who want to live green. (Parent to Parent airs on KONG, channel 6/16 in Washington at 8:15am on Mondays.)

Please, "like" the segment and share it with friends!

Read more here:

Thursday
Nov032011

Too Many Bedroom TVs

Note: During the month of November I’ll be giving away prizes to commenters on my blog. A comment of more than 25 words qualifies you to win a weekly drawing for a sleep-related prize! This week I'm giving away a copy of my ebook Ready, Set, Sleep. So leave a comment for a chance to win!

I recently saw a statistic from Common Sense Media that stopped me in my tracks: about a third of babies and toddlers have a television set in their bedroom. As kids get older, the percentage of bedroom television viewing goes up: 44 percent of kids 2-4 have sets in their bedrooms, along with nearly half of kids 5-8.

So why is this a big deal? Well, study after study shows the ill effects of bedroom television sets for young kids, including this one that links TV viewing before bed to irregular sleep patterns in young kids. The bright light disrupts melatonin production, and the exciting content stimulates young brains just as they should be winding down for sleep.

But poor sleep is just the tip of the television iceberg. Too much television in childhood is linked to everything from academic problems to psychological distress to asthma.

I’m not anti-TV—my children love their Yo Gabba GabbaI just don’t believe in bedroom TVs for kids. Sleep is so vitally important to our children, and the world throws enough sleep obstacles in our paths that we don't need to create them. For example, you may work late at night, making it difficult for you to put your kids to bed early. You may have a child with a naturally touchy or difficult sleep temperament. Your neighbor may throw loud parties late at night. These are facts of life that are often outside of your control. But the choice to put a bedroom television set in your child’s room is firmly in your own hands.  

Look at it this way: if you wanted your child to eat more healthfully, you wouldn’t put a candy machine in her bedroom. That’s why it’s time to tell the bedroom TV sets goodnight.