4 Reasons Your Kid Isn't Sleeping Through the Night

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kid jumping on bedOnce you survive the newborn months of baby not sleeping through the night because of the reality that they are babies who need to eat every two to three hours, you see this beacon of sleep light in the toddler years. But sometimes that doesn't happen either. There are the wake-ups and the crawling into bed with you or even you ending up squished into the princess-themed twin sheets along with your child and 47 favorite stuffed animals, feet cold from dangling off the end, arm asleep from lying on it, and not wanting to move for fear of waking your child who finally snoozed. Why is this happening, you wonder? This no sleep business. Why can't my child sleep through the night?

The answer has everything to do with technology.

When our kids sleep less it's not good for them -- they need sleep to grow in body and mind. It's also terrible for us, as parents. We need sleep BECAUSE WE. NEED. SLEEP! I speak for myself when I tell you that if I don't get enough sleep, I am a miserable, headachey, awful human being. But what we subject our kids to, as well as ourselves, truly affects how we sleep -- or if we get any shut-eye at all. A study in Pediatrics looked at the lives of kids from 5 to 18, particularly what their bedtime routine was and how they spent the hour and a half before bed. There was a trend for those who didn't sleep well and I feel it can translate to not only our younger kids, but us as adults as well. Here are the reasons your kid isn't sleeping through the night.

More from The Stir: Video Games Won't Hurt Kids' Sleep

1. The TV. Those who wouldn't fall asleep at the proper "bedtime" watched 13 more minutes of TV than those who went to bed earlier. The more time kids spend in front of the TV in a day, the harder it was for them to snooze at night.

2. Video games. Same effect as TV, even if we don't want to think of it as television.

3. The Internet. This seems to go for all those electronic books, too. We have to go old school when it comes to wind-down time.

4. The TV. Yes, again. It must be stressed and I know I'm making some changes in my own household as a result of this. The TV screen and its lighting seems to act as a wake-up call. Louise Foley, one of the researchers of this study, said, "There is a suggestion that TV affects sleep hormones because screens emit blue light and that could delay sleep onset."

(Note to self: Stop Pinteresting before bed.)

Of course there is no magic amount of time we should allow our kids in front of the TV, computer screen, or hand-held video game device. All kids are different -- this is a study and there are always exceptions. My niece seems to need the TV to fall asleep. But if this helps any family get more zzz's by turning off the TV sooner, then this information is a total win. This goes for babies, toddler, big kids, and adults.

Do you think TV and electronics affect your child's sleep? Do you allow them to watch TV before bed


Image via tracitodd/Flickr

toddler sleep, video games

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Shrew2u Shrew2u

My 5yo sacks out around 7p and is up around 5a, she could sleep through a firefight going on around her and is always up before I am. Since it's consistent and her mood is good in the am, not much interest to change either time. I keep yogurt, fruit, veggies, cheese sticks and cereal within her reach in the kitchen, so she can serve herself an early breakfast if she doesn't want to wait for me.


My 3yo is the inconsistent one.  Sometimes, he sleeps 8p-7a, sometimes 10p-5a - and his mood does not depend on his getting "enough" sleep, he can be grumpier after 11hrs than 7 whether he's healthy or sick.  He's good about getting a 2hr nap daily.  Other than that, the evening routine doesn't vary much, but I may start cutting off the tv an hour before the target bedtime (or once big sis sacks out), to lessen the stimuli during transition.

marabie marabie

no tv before two that's the news from researchers.

MrsYo... MrsYoung1287

My son is 2 and goes to sleep between 7 and 8:30 pm depending on when his dad gets home or if we don't get home from where ever until late and ect. He sleeps until between 7 and 8:30 am. He'll wake up a few times during night but that works for me because whenever he wakes up I put him on the potty to pee, so he's night trained because of it. And yes he'll watch some tv before bed but not in the bedroom.

nonmember avatar melmcl

Our biggest problem was his tonsils. The Apnea was horrible by itself, but the constant waking up and never being able to sleep well was the pits! Immediately after they were removed, he slept well for the first time and he was 6!

vegan... veganistic

My 8yo can't watch tv, computer, Or video game after 7 bc it will take hours for her to fall asleep! It's a bummer bc sometimes we adults want to watch a movie with her before bed for family time, and we pay dearly for it every time. Someone always ends up in tears. Usually me and her. :/

Tarot Tarot

I don't own a TV and my children do not have any hi-tech gadgets. I've found, also, that classical music helps my daughter fall asleep, and my son won't sleep if his sister is awake.

3wond... 3wonderfullboys

We do baths then 30mins of tv then on to books and then I sit with each child (11, 9 & 6) starting with the youngest and talk about what went on that day and the next day then to bed as for me I usually fall a sleep reading my kindle.

mmtos... mmtosam06

My dd has a bedtime between 7:30-7:45 and even before starting school she was in bed by 8/8:30. Only time its later than the mentioned time is bible study night she gets to bed at 9:30.

mamas... mamaslove11

My 8 yr old ss is in bed at 830 pm, 30 minutes i=of "t.v." time then lights out at 9 pm and he is up at 650 am for school. He is a breeze to wake up. and on the weekend everything is a half an hour later and he wakes up by himself usually no later than 8 am.


Before I moved in last febuary and about  month afterwards he slept on the couch and he had the tv on for as long as he wanted. He usually fell asleep with it on. I put a stop to that because he was extremely difficult to wake up and at night my hubby would try to stay awake till he would fall asleep to turn the tv off. Then in April he got a new bed and he was off the couch and in his own room at night.

MrS.G... MrS.GiFFord

Pshh my kids are good sleepers and TV watchers.

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