This Is The Healthiest Bedtime
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
It’s the nightly battle that frequently has parents around the globe tearing their hair out: bedtime. After all the negotiating, warm milks, toilet stops, story-times and cuddles are over unsuccessfully, it might feel like the best option is to just let your little ones stay up that extra hour or two.
But before you give in, here’s why it might be worth putting up that extra bit of fight.
A Little Extra Sleep Goes A Long Way
We don’t mean to give you yet another thing to worry about in the minefield that is parenting, but a study has shown that a child’s cognitive, emotional and physical development benefits from an early bedtime. The ideal time? Apparently, it’s even just the addition of an extra hour, or half an hour, per night.
A 2012 Paediatrics Study sent a group of 7-11-year-olds to school having had an extra hour of sleep, and a group of 7-11-year-olds with an hour less than they might usually have. Teachers, who didn’t know what children had received more or less sleep, overall found the kids who had extra sleep to be less restless than usual, less sleepy and more emotionally stable. The children who had less sleep were found to show the opposite.
The study also proved that a modest, extra 27.36 minutes of sleep per night was enough to significantly improve "alertness and emotional regulation."
Before The Sun Goes Down
The National Sleep Foundation said: “Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioural problems such as ADHD and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.” They recommend that a preschooler (3-5 yrs) gets between 11-13 hours of sleep per night, and school-aged children (6-13 yrs) get between 9-11 hours per night. This would put the ideal bedtime for most children between 6 and 9pm.
But bedtime before the sun goes down? Some parents may find that excessive, or even just laugh at the thought of asking their children to brush their teeth whilst a summer sun is still shining and birds are yet to retreat to their nests. Here are The Sleep Foundations top tips to help get your kids to bed early, to at least give it a shot. Hey, it could mean more Netflix in peace for you!
- Keep bedtimes consistent and maintain a sleep schedule
- Make sure toddlers in particular are going to sleep in the same bed each night
- Enforce your bed times- offer little ones security blankets or toys to assist them
- Make a relaxing bedtime routine- a bath, a story, a pre-bed quiet chat, perhaps?
- Make the child’s bedroom cool, dark and quiet
- Don’t allow TV or technology in the room they sleep in- the blue light from many screens, especially iPhones could be a major cause for sleep disruption