Young children who watch violent cartoons in the evening are more likely to have sleeping problems, a study by the Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute has discovered.

The study, which looked at the TV and sleeping habits of 617 children aged three-five, found that children who were allowed to watch too much TV were more likely to wake up during the night and suffer from bad dreams.

The researchers, led by Dr Michelle Garrison, found that one in five had trouble staying asleep at night, or were tired during the day for most of the week. Those who watched TV after 7pm had the worst results, with nearly 30 per cent suffering sleep problems. This rose to nearly 40 per cent if they'd watched violent cartoons.

This was compared to less than 20 per cent of those who saw little night time television, the study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics revealed.

Dr Garrison claimed that many parents were mistaken in the belief that having televisions in pre-schoolers bedrooms would help them get to sleep.

Posted by Robert Mair on 27.6.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

 Cartoons and nightmares