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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Katie Hesney Johnson

For myself and my daughter, after bathtime usually we snuggle under blankets to watch a short show, and then make our way upstairs to bed. She sleeps through the night just fine. I think you're right, it really depends on the kid, 

teddy... teddysmama09

I definately believe TV is a huge culprit in not sleeping. Although there is alwaays the exceptions. My friend has a TV free household and their son is a terrible sleeper (although he is a super genious, so maybe that has something to do with it.)

I watched a documentary about how lighht at night has caused so many sleep problems. The sleeping hormone, melatonin, is inhibited when we are exposed to light at night. The solution is to have a completely dark room. This poses a problem to parents, however, as most children cannot handle being in a completely dark room. So, the best we can do is minimize the light as much as possible in the room for about an hour before bed time (keeping a low watage light in the lamp for bedtime stories and  a low light night light for after). This time before bed time should also be void of anything electronic- no TV, no computers etc.

TV is also a huge no no before bedtime because its stimulating. Even the dullest of television (ie: CSPAN) is still stimulating to the young mind that. is drawn to the colors, movement and light on the screen.

Anony... AnonyMOUSE715

If im reading something on the internet on my phone im more prone to pass out but once i put the phone up i get wide awake.odd

Anony... AnonyMOUSE715

If im reading something on the internet on my phone im more prone to pass out but once i put the phone up i get wide awake.odd

debra... debra_benge

My kids do 1/2 an hour of reading before bed most nights.  My daughter generally crashes out no problem, whether she does the reading or we let her watch a show right before bed.  My son has insomnia due to autism, so reading, TV, quiet time, nothing seems to really matter...  He lays in bed for up to 4 hours before falling asleep. 

kelti... kelticmom

My four year old has always gone to bed with a "night night" movie, usually Wall-E or Peter Rabbit. He falls asleep around 10, sleeps all night and is up around 7:30 or 8. I always fall asleep watching the Daily Show or Colbert.

Blues... Blueshark77

Even though the little one isn't here yet, I've always been a big advocate of reading before bedtime, not tv or computer time. When I watched other people's kids I would read to them. Definitely no tv in the kid's room for us.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

My girls have had a tv in the room in the past but it wasnt used to help them go to sleep. That was a very strict rule we had. No tvs now and they do sleep better. They go to bed at 730 and wake up around 7 sometimes alittle before. We started early bedtimes when they were babies and now they r in school and there wasnt any transition to gettin use to gettin up early. I look at friends and there kids struggle to get to sleep at a decent hour and dont wake easily and i thank my lucky stars we started as babies. Sleep is important and it should start being important right away not when its neccesary to make it important such as when they start school.

JessL... JessLogansMommy

At 7-715 the tv goes off and the bedtime routine starts.   My kids do not have a tv in their bedroom and it will be a long time before they do.  They sleep 8-8 pretty much at 5 and 3 years old plus my 3 year old takes a 2 hour nap daily.  The tv is on in the house quite a bit during the day, but there is always a calm down period before bed unless there is something special to watch (ie- Christmas cartoons). I know tv free households that have sleeping issues.  The best rule to follow is "the more they sleep, the more they sleep."  

Angie... AngieHayes

Nothing I do makes my children sleep, I AM GOING INSANE!!

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