Health

Kids who have a bedtime routine are more likely to be better behaved, study finds

Your little one’s bedtime routine may have a big impact on their behaviour, a new study has found.

What’s more, experts believe children who have flexible or an irregular routine at night time may perform worse in school and end up with weight issues than those who have a set schedule.

Kids who have a bedtime routine are more likely to be better behaved, study finds

There’s a link between a child having a bedtime routine and them being better behaved

Data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study found that a change in bedtime schedules may be linked to a child’s behaviour.

10,000 children aged between three and seven were surveyed as part of the assessment. Their parents were asked whether their children went to bed at a regular time on weekdays.

The results were striking for those in the regular bedtime and irregular bedtime groups. Kids who lacked a routine at night scored lower on maths, reading and spatial awareness tests and were generally unhappier, inconsiderate and troublesome.

Kids who have a bedtime routine are more likely to be better behaved, study finds

Researchers stress that consistency is the key to a happier, well rested child. Lead researcher Yvonne Kelly says that even if a child sleeps the same hours every night (goes to bed and wakes at different times), they can suffer from ‘social jet lag’.

“Without ever getting on a plane, a child’s bodily systems get shuffled through different time zones, and their circadian rhythms and hormonal systems take a hit as a result,” she says.

toddler sleep

The National Sleep Foundations recommends children aged three to five get roughly 10 to 13 hours sleep a day and 9-11 hours when they are at primary school.

Meanwhile, a follow up study looked at the impact of bedtime routines and if there was a link to obesity. Experts found that kids with an irregular bedtime were more likely to be overweight and have lower self-esteem.

Even kids who usually had a regular bedtime were 20 per cent more likely to be obese than those who always went to bed at the same time.

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