Do Your Kids Have to Go to Sleep with the Tv On??

Updated on May 07, 2010
S.T. asks from Kansas City, KS
19 answers

I posted a question yesterday about my daughter staying in her own bed to sleep well last night we had a good night she got up once my husband put her back to bed and she was there when I got up this morning so I'm bribing her with if she does it the rest of the week she can get a $1 item from target but was wondering if any of your kids have to sleep with the tv on?? My husband can't fall asleep unless it is on so wondering if she is going to be like her father>

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answers from St. Louis on

I am happy she did so well last night.
We rented a house that had squirrels living in the attic. My daughter was scared from the noise and we let her have the tv on. We finally moved and it took months to brake her from them tv!
We started putting on her favorite music instead.
Tv works great, but it can back fire. You have to decide if trading one thing for another is worth it. If it is, then go for it. Maybe you could set the sleep timer on the tv for a specific amount of time and when it goes off, its off for the night.
I hope you have many more sucessful nights!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

She will not be just like her father unless you allow her to fall asleep with the TV on.
Try this, put a small fan in her room for noise. I sleep with a small fan on in my room. It helps me to go to sleep.

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answers from Dallas on

It's a bad habit to get into, but it can be broken. Try using a light radio station or a fan instead.

I need some type of circulation or light sound, so I have a fan running on low at night. But sleeping with a tv on can be difficult, some shows may be loud, others may be quiet, so after the quiet if a loud noise comes on it can wake her back up. Also, being dependent on a tv for sound can't be healthy, here's some research on the subject:

When there's light, your pituitary gland produces saratonin, when it's dark, it produces melatonin which is what makes you sleep. The light from the TV can make you produce less melatonin resulting in troubles sleeping.

The correlation between sleep and the TV on is simpler than that- too much noise to get deep REM sleep, and the eyes pick up the flickering movements of flashy lights. Turning off the TV does not save melatonin, it's just a good idea. (Although, many people swear by the "white noise" of the TV, and the comfort of background noise helps some people feel as if they are not alone in the house, and sleep better as a result... go figure!

All of that aside, we won't have tv's in our rooms either, so much research has been done that it can be distracting and confining and unhealthy but that's up to each family.

The New York Times reports on several disturbing statistics connecting televisions in the bedroom to health and developmental problems like obesity, insomnia, and more. The article focuses on the effects of the bedroom TV on kids (who see lower test scores and are at a higher risk of smoking), but we've also seen how electronic media can hinder a good night's sleep for adults, as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

We have a radio in our sons room and leave the hall light on for when he goes to sleep. Before I go to bed I turn off the hall light. He is afraid of the dark. He has little LED nightlights too. We have a tv in our room and fall asleep with it on for sound and light - I need it on because of the dark issue too.

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answers from New York on

Nope. And I will never allow my son to fall asleep in front of the television because he won't ever have one in his room. To be honest, we rarely turn on our TV, especially now that the weather is becoming warmer and the days are longer. We'd much rather be outside!

Watching the television stimulates a child and does the exact opposite of what you want for your daughter to do - go to sleep! Turn off the TV and set up a solid, comforting bedtime routine. Quiet games, bath/shower, reading books, telling stories, singing songs, etc. Reinforce the importance of her staying in her own room and stick to it.

And one other suggestion (I didn't read your other question, so I apologize I offer similar advice)... my parents never allowed my brothers or me to sleep in their bed once we were past the toddler stage. They had a sleeping bag that they kept in their room for times when we had a bad dream or didn't want to go back to our rooms. We didn't sleep on their floor very often - it was much more comfortable to be in our own beds!

Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

No my kids don't.
I don't even plan on putting any in their rooms when they are older.

As the previous poster said, it is a learned "habit."



answers from Kansas City on

Of course not! There are sometimes whole days or two at our house where the television doesn't even get turned on. Not that we don't watch TV, of course, but we don't ever rely on it. It's just a matter of what you get used to. If your husband got used to sleeping with no TV, he'd get used to that too. It just would take awhile to adjust.



answers from Kansas City on

Falling asleep with the tv on is a learned behavior and she may get it from dad but both if cut it could learn to go to sleep without it. For your husband, well that's up to you 2, but for your child, I would break the habit. When you sleep distractions to fall asleep usually lead to less deep sleep, you stay awake longer, plus the flashing (yes the light in your tv flashes as it changes) are bad for developing eye, all light is.



answers from Tulsa on

I have to have some noise either tv or radio cant stand dead silence.



answers from Chicago on

I agree, going to sleep with the TV on is a learned behavior.

My husband used to let his daughter go to sleep with the TV on (because she used to sleep in his bed and grandma's and they like to fall asleep with the TV on) but I found that she'd stay up to watch the show and not ever fall asleep. I'd go in the room hours later and she'd still be awake. When we moved in together I put a stop to it and lo and behold...she fell asleep just fine without it.

Now she likes to have her radio on when she sleeps and we're okay with that provided it's on quietly and it's on a sleep timer. She likes to claim that she can't sleep without it, but she sleeps with no radio on at mom's and she's fine! She does fall asleep faster with the radio on. I highly recommend putting together a cd of soothing songs or buying one. It does help filter out other noises!


answers from Dallas on

My boys don't have TVs in their rooms, but they do like "white" noise like a fan. I can't sleep with any noise and use earplugs. My husband often falls asleep while watching TV on the couch, and later wakes up and comes to bed. I'm glad your daughter had a good night. :-)



answers from St. Louis on

My daughter is almost 7 and to get her to go to sleep I turn on her TV in her room at bedtime. During the week I will put in a 30 min. video (not a DVD because it will play over and over again). However I do not let her have any sound, so she uses it more as a night light. Her screen is blue when the movie is done. However on the weekends or non school nights she can have a long movie and sound. It depends on what night it is and if her brother is quiet as to how long it takes her to go to bed. I know that I am a night owl as is my son. So if she is taking so long to go to sleep that could even be the problem or she might think that she is missing out on something.


answers from Kansas City on

I stopped sleeping with my husband because of the television. For many years I put up with it as it invaded my dreams making me have strange dreams. I also put up with him laying there awake and turning the channel in a dark room making it feel like I was sleeping under a strobe light.

Plain and simple, I need good quality sleep more than I need to be next to my husband. It's a bad habit and I agree with the poster that said it's a learned habit that can be unlearned.



answers from Redding on

I sleep with the TV on but neither of my kids do.
It is a bit of a habit for me, but I hear every creak, every rain drop, every time someone starts a car, every dog barking...having the TV on low helps drown that out. I usually put it in PBS because there are no commercials or anything and it helps me sleep.
My kids can sleep through earthquakes so nothing bothers them.
I don't think it's an inherited habit unless you turn it in to one.
My son is 14 and on the weekends, he's alwlays saying that he's going to stay up late to watch this or that. I don't even argue with him. He's out by 9:30 and I just turn the TV off.

Good luck with your daughter staying in her bed!
I know some parents really struggle with that.
As she gets better, let her pick a new pillow or blanket that she's only allowed to have in her room for bedtime. Not even for couch cozey-ing until she's consistantly sleeping in her own room.

Best wishes!


answers from Jacksonville on

I think that is a learned behavior. Having "white noise" might help her.. but I highly discourage using the TV to be that "white noise". My kids do not sleep with TV. NEVER have. Don't have one in their rooms, and don't plan on ever putting one in there. When they want one, they can pay rent on their own place and get one, lol.

They have, in the past 2 years, become very dependent on having some music on in their rooms when they go to sleep. (They are almost 9 and 12 years old). And I am okay with that as long as it is not too loud or keeps them awake instead of providing "white noise" that helps them go to sleep. My 12 yr old actually prefers to have a "book on CD" (Geronimo Stilton, or something like that) on, instead of music. He is usually out within about 10 minutes.

For years, they had no music in their rooms, though. (As infants I played acoustic string music from a CD quietly in the nursery at night). But it seems that as they get older, they are more aware of other noises/sounds in the house or outside, and the music helps cover them so they can go to sleep.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My son can fall asleep without his TV on but it takes much longer. If he is in bed with a movie in....he always falls asleep in under 10 minutes every time. Without it on he seems to come out of his room more...wants a drink, has to go to the bathroom again, wants another kiss, etc. and it takes more like 30-45 minutes for him to finally get to sleep. I know some say TV it too stimulating at bed time, I think that is a personalized issue and not a broad one for every individual...for me (and obviously my son) TV relaxes me and when I am in bed with the TV on I get sleepy very quickly, then I turn it off and go to husband can't have it on at all once he's in bed (he would be one of those that is stimulated by it and not relaxed).



answers from Minneapolis on

No, I think it is learned behavior. My girls have to be "resting or reading" in their beds at bedtime. They don't have a TV in their rooms. If they did, I know it would be a disaster. My youngest, especially, loves her media, so limits are essential. However, if they go to bed nicely on school nights, they can listen to the radio or listen to a book on CD in bed before falling asleep when it isn't a school night. Or, my youngest, sometimes wants to watch a movie in the basement rec room, and sleep on the couch afterwards. Again, she only gets to do that only weekends if bedtime on school nights goes smoothly.


answers from Dallas on

My 9 year old has a tv in her room, but she cannot watch it to fall asleep unless it's a holiday and not a "bedtime" night. With my toddler, no way!! We will eventually put a tv in her room on the wall, but not now. It's too stimulating for them.


answers from Milwaukee on

To me sleeping with the TV on as a bad habit which will be hard to break. I understand that it helps cover up nosies that might wake a person up but if that is the case I would get a sound machine. The light and sound from a TV can actaully cause a disburing sleep and you do not fall into a deep sleep (or wake from it easily) due to having the TV on & light from it.

In the past, like if my hubby is out of town, I have a hard time falling asleep without him there so I put the sleep timer on my TV so it goes off an hour after I set the timer. That way it is not on the whole night otherwise I wake up in the morning feeling that I never really slept or wake up only after an hour or two of sleep because of the light/nosie. I do have a clock with sound machine but use it only when hubby is away (he can not fall asleep with it, or is super restless when it is on), it is quiet enough that it never wakes me and I have it set to a forest setting (breeze, rain/water).

My mother-in-law has to have a fan on to fall asleep, the nosie is her white noise. If she does not have the fan (like in a hotel) she hardly sleeps well, so I got her a small portable one she can take on trips which works really well.

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