Remember when you were a kid and you would sneak off to watch late night cartoons when you thought nobody was watching? Depending on your age, this either made you feel super sneaky or gave you horrible nightmares.
A study from the medical journal Pediatrics claims that exposing to children to certain cartoons before bedtime could mean the difference between these night terrors and having a good night sleep. The experiment followed 565 toddlers aged 3 to 5, and found that those who watched only "age-appropriate" viewing materials an hour before sleeping were 64% less likely to exhibit any type of sleep
disturbance (trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying
asleep, and nightmares).
Lead author Michelle Garrison explained, though, what constitutes an age-inappropriate program for kids is not always obvious for people who don't take two seconds to stop and think about it:
"The fact that 'Bugs Bunny' can be too violent for a 3-year-old is not something that always clicks with some families. Yes, they may know that (a preschooler) shouldn't watch the latest 'Transformers' movie, but they may not necessarily make that same association with cartoons that have...funny violence or superhero violence..."
So what are the cartoons that these kids should steer clear off? Among those cartoons deemed age-inappropriate include Spongebob Squarepants and Batman; the ones recommend include Dora the Explorer and Curious George.
Of course, you could always just skip the whole watching cartoon part and instead just read those kids a lovely bedtime story: