When I was pregnant with my first kid, a friend’s dad told me “congratulations, you’ll never sleep again.”
I laughed and naively thought that my child would differ.
Two kids later and sleep ranks up there with potty training as one of the toughest aspects of parenting. No one appears to get enough, and the struggle is daily.
Early to bed is best for everybody involved
But a study confirms why all those bedtime battles are so worthwhile. Once kids go to bed early, they’re healthier and mummy is happier.
This may seem to be logic; however, science has confirmed its truth with the Growing Up in Australia study, throughout those researchers tracked thousands of families beginning in 2004.
Every 2 years, these families took part in an exceedingly series of interviews that allowed researchers to visualize in on the state of their physical and mental state.
Analyzing the sleep and lifestyle information they collected, researchers found that kids with early bedtimes—those asleep by 8:30 p.m.—had “better health-related quality of life.” And their moms had improved mental health, too.
Jon Quash, the lead author of the study, spoke to today about the findings. “So mums and dads, getting kids to bed early isn’t simply nice for them. It’s smart for you, too,” he said.
Makes sense to me. There’s nothing quite as sweet as the silence that falls on my house shortly once eight p.m. That evening quiet time may be a gift. An area in the day to recharge, relax and watch “The Bachelor” in peace.
Having kids may be a mental and physical effort. Once you add the mental load of jobs, marriage, home maintenance and a few semblance of self-care to the list, it’s no surprise oldsters have some excess stress and fatigue in their lives.
Kids who go to bed earlier tend to sleep longer
In addition to happy mommies, there are some real advantages to kids also. A U.S. poll featured on the National Institutes of Health website suggests that kids who head to bed earlier also sleep longer.
And kids want plenty of sleep. Simply look into this chart from the National Sleep Foundation that shows the suggested range of hours of sleep kids should get every night:
And here’s another handy chart I’ve used that outlines once to put your kids to bed based on their wake-up time:
What can we do to get our children to bed earlier?
First of all, researchers say we’d like to limit before-bed screen time. In step with the National Sleep Foundation, the blue lightweight emitted from screens will delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, increase alertness and reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule. Yikes!
To be safe, they recommend a digital curfew that may limit the use of TV, tablets, phones, and computers one to 2 hours before the time of day.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends an identical bedtime routine.
In our house, this includes a soothing bathtub and a decent book. However, no matter you decide on to include into your bedtime routine, understand that an everyday routine will set you and your kid up for success.
And this will begin as early as infancy, that the sooner you’ll establish a routine, the better!
Other useful hints for a good night’s sleep include guaranteeing your kids get lots of exercise throughout the day, avoiding caffeine and keeping their rooms dark.