Early in bed is best for everyone
This may seem like common sense, but science has confirmed this with the Growing Up in Australia study, in which researchers tracked thousands of families from 2004. Every two years, these families participated in a series of interviews about their physical and mental health.
With sleep analysis and data collected from their lifestyle, the researchers found that children who had the recommended sleep time – and went to bed at 20:30 – had “a better quality of life and health. And their mom had better mental health too.
It makes sense to me. There is nothing sweeter than the silence that falls on my house shortly after 8 pm In the evening, the quiet time is a gift. A space in the day to recharge your batteries and relax in peace.
Having children is a mental and physical feat. When you add the mental burden of jobs, marriage, housekeeping and a semblance of self-care to the list, it’s no wonder parents have a little too much stress and fatigue in their lives.
Children who go to bed earlier tend to sleep longer
In addition to happy moms, there are also real benefits for children. A survey on the National Institutes of Health website suggests that children who go to bed earlier also sleep longer.
And children need a lot of sleep. Just look at this chart from the National Sleep Foundation, which shows the recommended number of hours of sleep that kids should have each night:
What can we do to get our children to bed earlier?
First of all, the researchers say that we should limit the time spent in front of the screen. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the blue light emitted by screens can delay the release of melatonin inducing sleep, increase alertness and reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule.
For a better quality of life, they recommend a digital curfew that would limit the use of television, tablets, phones and computers one to two hours before bedtime.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends a regular bedtime routine. In our home, this includes a soothing bath and a good book. But whatever you choose to incorporate into your bedtime routine, be aware that a regular routine can get you and your child on the right path to a better quality of life. And that can start from childhood, so the sooner you can establish an early routine, the better.
Other helpful tips for a good night’s sleep include making sure your children get plenty of exercise during the day, avoiding caffeine and keeping their room dark while sleeping.