There is good news for parents who are able to put their kids to sleep early. A new study shows that An Early Bedtime Means Happier And Healthier Children.
An early bedtime routine can be a real struggle sometimes, but it sure will bring health benefits for your children. Kids that have an earlier bedtime sleep longer and are healthier than children that fall asleep late.
Children need healthy food and exercise, but they also need a good night sleep for their optimal development. Think about how you feel when you go to bed late and have to wake up early the next day. This is why it is so important to set an early bedtime routine for children. They need to rest well to stay healthy and happy.
If you are struggling with your children’s bedtime routine, I have some tips that could help. Please see my 5 Tips For Helping Children Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Better post for more details.
An Early Bedtime Means Happier And Healthier Children
Sarah Anderson, an associate professor of epidemiology at Ohio State University, is the lead author of a study from the Journal of Pediatrics that confirms that an Early Bedtime Means Happier And Healthier Children.
Earlier bedtimes for preschoolers were protective against obesity
The study used data from 977 children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. That project followed healthy babies born at 10 U.S. sites in 1991.
Anderson divided preschool bedtimes into three categories: 8 p.m. or earlier, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., and after 9 p.m. The children were about 4 ½ years old when their mothers reported their typical weekday bedtime.
The researchers linked preschoolers’ bedtimes to obesity when the kids were teens, at an average age of 15.
The study found that bedtimes after 9 p.m. appeared to double the likelihood of obesity later in life. Not only that, but the study found that children with a late bedtime routine took longer to fall asleep, and were more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
The recommendation for a healthy weight as a teen? Tuck in your toddler by 8 p.m.
Obesity can set kids up for a lifelong struggle with weight and health complications that can accompany it, including diabetes and heart disease.
Excess weight in children is a major health concern in the United States. Approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s something concrete that families can do to lower their child’s risk and it’s also likely to have positive benefits on behavior and on social, emotional and cognitive development,” Anderson said. It also arms pediatricians with scientifically based advice for parents.
Earlier bedtimes mean happier (and even smarter) children
Another study published in American Academy of Pediatrics showed earlier bedtimes were linked to better behavior. The students in this study (ages 7 to 11), who were put to bed an hour earlier for five nights were rated by their teachers (who were unaware of the children’s bedtime) as being less irritable and impulsive than usual.
Children who go to sleep early are happier.
And as if that wasn’t enough evidence that early bedtimes are all sorts of great, in yet another study in Japan, researchers reported that 18-month-olds who went to bed before 10 p.m. were at a lower risk for motor, language, and social deficits compared with kids who went to bed late.
Children who go to sleep early are smarter.
I hope this An Early Bedtime Means Happier And Healthier Children article and the studies reenforces the idea that a good early bedtime routine is essential. At home we try as much as possible to keep our bedtime routine to no later than 9pm. My almost 2 year old daughter goes to bed at 7:00pm but my 6 year old son’s bedtime goal is 8:00pm. We usually meet our bedtime goal the day he eats healthy and exercises.
3 important things for your children’s health: sleep, healthy food and exercise.
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