Early bedtimes for kids are key to their development and your happiness.
Watch this short video for a quick gulp of information or read the article below for a deeper dive:
My son’s example
I love to tweak sleep for my 9-year old kid.
His name is Denis and he lives with his mother.
She is a working Mom and has a lot of tasks to juggle.
As a result, he sometimes goes to bed at 10 or 11 p.m. and wakes up at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. for his morning soccer training.
That’s just 7 or 8 hours of sleep.
He doesn’t have appetite to eat breakfast then.
And looks tired or sleepy.
These irregular bedtimes aren’t conducive for proper sleep.
But when we travel together, I put him on the “early to sleep, early to rise” schedule.
He is ready to have his breakfast at 7 a.m. then.
In fact, he is so hungry that he is eager to cook his own breakfast.
You see, early bedtimes (between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) work best for babies and kids.
Tip 1: Earlier bedtimes for kids ensure the appropriate length of sleep.
Why is sleep duration important for kids’ quality sleep?
A writer Alexis Dubief said:
Your toddler, preschooler, and younger kid should be going to bed between 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., most commonly 7:30 p.m. Later than that is almost always too late.
A study of 34 children aged 7 to 11 years analyzed the effects of changing sleep duration.
Extending it by 30 minutes improved emotional lability and restless-impulsive behavior while reducing daytime sleepiness.
Reducing it by 60 minutes led to detectable deterioration.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) developed these Childhood Sleep Guidelines.
They state that your 9-year-old is supposed to get 9 to 12 hours of sleep.
If she goes to sleep at 11 p.m., she’ll get the minimum recommended time only if her wake up time is 8 a.m.
When she needs to be at school at 8:30 a.m., that’s difficult, right?
And there’s a risk that on other days, she’ll need to wake up earlier and won’t get even the minimal time.
Tip 2: Earlier bedtime for kids equals regular bedtime.
Another reason to make children go to bed earlier is to establish regular bedtimes more easily.
Why are regular bedtimes important?
They lead to better cognitive performance.
A study of 11,000+ 7-year-old children looked at how consistent bedtimes for kids in early childhood correlated with cognitive performance.
Irregular bedtimes resulted in lower test scores in maths and reading.
And they could also have effects on health throughout life!
Say, your kid’s bedtime routine starts at 8 p.m. on Friday.
And then at 9 p.m. on Saturday. It’s the weekend, after all.
And then at 10 p.m. on Sunday because she procrastinated with her homework.
To avoid such irregular bedtimes, start the bedtime routine earlier and at the same time every day to have your kid fall asleep at least by 9 p.m.
Tip 3: Earlier bedtimes for kids help establish a healthy routine.
Which of the two scenarios is conducive to sleep?
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2|
|A night when you have a lot of things to do, hassle a lot and go to bed late.||A night when you take a bath, read a book under dim light, and light a scented candle.|
The second scenario sounds more appealing, doesn’t it?
In a study of 5,000 children aged from birth to 36 months, a regular bedtime routine was associated with longer sleep.
No bedtime routine is bad for your kid.
I start my son’s bedtime routine before 8 p.m.
He takes a shower, gets a massage, talks to me about his day, and reads a book.
This means at least 10 hours of good sleep and helps us bond.
A pediatrician Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell said:
You should have a calming and soothing nightly bedtime routine for your child. It may include things like a soothing bath, a bedtime feed, reading or singing.
The routine should occur at the same time every night as this will train their circadian rhythm so that they get sleepy and become alert at the same time every day, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up each day.
Tip 4: Earlier bedtimes for kids reduce obesity risk.
The earlier your kid goes to bed, the lesser is their risk of ending up fat.
A study of preschool-aged children looked at the correlation between bedtimes and obesity risk.
Here are the findings:
- Bedtimes at or before 8 p.m. were associated with a 10% prevalence of obesity.
- Bedtimes between 8 and 9 p.m. — with 16%.
- Bedtimes after 9 p.m. — with 23%.
So when my kid is asleep at least before 9 p.m., I have the peace of mind knowing I’m not helping him get fat.
But make kids go to sleep later… and the risk of obesity more than doubles.
Improve bedtimes for kids with coaching
Establishing a healthy bedtime routine is easier when you work with a life coach for kids and parents.
As a life coach in Toronto, I can work with you or your kids to help make those sleep improvements.
Talk to me today to help your kids be happier and more successful in all they do, thanks to better sleep.