First of all, let me start by saying that I am NOT in favor of TVs in kids bedrooms, much to the dismay of my sons. This issue is such a hot button for me; it was one of the factors that led to a divorce. There is a new study out that links TVs in the kids' room to increased risk of obesity and disease, which is no surprise anymore because everything it seems puts kids at risk for something. I am not concerned about the potential for weight gain at all because if the parents are careful and responsible, that probably won't happen. I am much more concerned about the effect the TV in their room has on their sleep.

There are several studies that examined the effect of a child's sleep pattern when the TV is left on and it's pretty alarming. To me, a much bigger health risk for all of us, but especially in kids, is the lack of sleep in today's society. It's no secret that we simply don't get enough sleep and that is real concern.

One study says that sadly, kids are not getting as much sleep as they should for some of the same reasons that adults are not getting enough. However, one factor for the kids is whether or not they fall asleep with the TV on.

The TV is not a babysitter and cannot function like one. My ex-wife and I had huge arguments about the TV in the kids' room; she believed it was fine because it would keep them out of our room late at night when they couldn't sleep. I argued that they could never sleep because the stupid TV was never off!

Studies have proven that having a TV on when kids are falling asleep will keep them from entering a deep sleep, which is where the benefit is for all of us. The constant noise and flickering of light is not good for the kids and will keep them for getting a good night's sleep.

The road to better health and dealing with certain health issues usually starts with one thing, and that is getting enough sleep. It is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, even though sometimes it can be difficult to do.

There are ways to help kids with whatever prevents them from going right to sleep, whether it's being afraid of the dark or anything else. They may want the TV on, but that is not the answer and in most cases will have the opposite effect.

I used to have a lot of trouble with my boys being so tired during the day and never being able to get enough sleep. They still have that issue at their mother's because she allows them to have the TV on. I ban the TV during sleep hours and have noticed that they sleep much better, are less apt to wake up during the night and seem to have more energy the following day.

It almost sounds like a cliche, but kids need their sleep. The road to to a healthy lifestyle for kids starts with a good nights sleep. That's not to say there won't be obstacles and bumps in the road, but you have to start somewhere, right?

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