How an irregular bedtime affects children
Read more on how irregular bedtimes can negatively affect your child.
Bedtimes can be such a struggle for both parents and their children. Parents are often coaxing their kids to sleep early while the kids ‘fight’ to sleep late at night.
These never-ending battles may be considered harmless but parents should know that irregular bedtime affects children negatively.
The importance of sleep
Sleeping and healthy children go hand in hand. With the right amount of sleep, children’s bones, muscles and skin will improve; their bodies will be healthier and stronger.
Sleep is important for the development of children’s minds too. Around 11 to 12 hours of sleep every day helps improve concentration and memory.
Kids will be able to pay attention to details, solve problems effectively, follow directions and have lots of energy to play.
Unfortunately, not all kids get the right amount of sleep every day.
Thus, parents should reiterate to their children the importance of sleep, explaining how an irregular bedtime affects children and their development. If they are in school, the children could have a hard time coping with their lessons, particularly in math and in reading.
An inconsistent sleeping schedule is detrimental to children’s intellectual and cognitive development. If this problem is not addressed properly, this kind of sleep pattern can have irreversible long term effects.
Around the age of 3, a child typically wants to play all day and stay up all night. According to them, sleep shouldn’t be imposed and they should only be in bed when they are dead tired.
Of course, this is not a good thing. While some parents may strictly follow a bedtime routine, there are other parents who go with what their children dictate, which is not encouraged.
Effects of irregular bedtime
Irregular bedtime affects children of different age levels. The effects may depend on how long they have been subjected to the inconsistent sleeping pattern.
• Children aged 3 years old
Irregular bedtime affects 3-year-old kids intellectually. They often have lower math and reading scores compared to other 3-year-olds who follow a consistent bedtime.
In some cases, the spatial ability of these children is greatly affected too.
• Children aged 5-7 years old
Irregular bedtime affects children, and has been associated with lower reading and math scores for 5-year-old boys. By the age of 7, it is the girls’ scores that are greatly affected, compared to the boys.
Stop irregular bedtimes
In order to establish a consistent bedtime every night, parents should establish a solid routine for their children. Here are a few suggestions:
- The kids should be in bed at the same time every night even if they are not sleepy.
- 3 to 5 hours before their bedtime, give only warm milk or plain water.
- If it helps to soothe and calm the children, a warm bath or a soothing massage may be given.
Establishing a bedtime routine can be quite complicated, especially during the first few weeks. But once the children are adjusted to the schedule, everything will be easy-breezy.
Do you have any tips for establishing bedtime routines for children? Or do you have personal stories to share about how an irregular bedtime affects children? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!