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Irregular Bedtimes May Affect Children's Brains

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

The Guardian just posted an article about a recent study which suggests that having an irregular bedtime may impair development, especially in female children. 




"Age three seems to be where you see the largest effect and that is a concern," said Amanda Sacker, professor of lifecourse studies at UCL.

"If a child is having irregular bedtimes at a young age, they're not synthesising all the information around them at that age, and they've got a harder job to do when they are older. It sets them off on a more difficult path," she added.


It seems the study showed that the actual time the child went to bed didn't matter, as long as it was consistent. 


You can read the full article here.


Do your kids go to bed at the same time every night?

post #2 of 4

I am going to read the article  bit later but it does seem obvious to me that consistency in bedtime matters!

post #3 of 4

I think a consistent bedtime is important in general. I usually have my 4 year old start winding down for bed around 8:15-8:30 and in bed by 9. If he has napped earlier in the evening, I know its going to be awhile for him to settle down so I make him stay in bed where he can play with a toy or read a book on my Nook for another 30 minutes. On the weekends, I don't stress bedtime too much because I know he is still going to go around the same time any way since his body is programmed.


I've also come to learn that my son needs about 10 hours of sleep each night. That may be a lot for some but I've monitored and watched him so its what works for us. And even though he's 4, he still also needs midday naps. He naps from Noon to 1:30 each day - no matter what. If he skips his nap, he can be so cranky and bratty until bedtime because he's exhausted. So a nap plus 10 hours is his day.

post #4 of 4

Hmmmm...I only skimmed it, but here are my thoughts:


They were evaluating 3 year olds based on reading and maths tests.  What does that even look like? 


Did they make any effort to figure out whether the sleeping was the cause of the lower test scores, or whether the lower test scores were just a reflection of how the kids were wired, and the sleep habits were just another part of that?   Or whether the irregular bedtimes were because of parenting choices, or in response to the child's personality?   Don't get me wrong, I think aiming for consistent bedtimes is generally a good thing, but I don't think everybody is wired for it to be attainable.

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