Children with Regular Bedtimes Less Likely to Misbehave
Epoch Times, October 14, 2013
Children who have irregular bedtimes are more likely to exhibit behavioural problems, according to new British research.
“A constant sense of flux induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag and this matters for healthy development and daily functioning,” said study author professor Yvonne Kelly in a statement.
The study looked at sleep habits of 10,000 children aged 3, 5 and 7 years old collected from the UK Millennium Cohort Study and found a statistically significant link between bedtimes and behaviour.
Professor Kelly said: “What we’ve shown is that these effects build up incrementally over childhood, so that children who always had irregular bedtimes were worse off than those children who did have a regular bedtime at one or two of the ages when they were surveyed.”
In her study for Epidemiology & Public Health at UCL Kelly discovered that if bedtimes became consistent the effects were reversible with clear improvements in the children’s behaviour. Therefore, she recommends that health care providers check for sleep disruptions as part of routine health care visits.
“Given the importance of early childhood development on subsequent health, there may be knock-on effects across the life course.”
“Children who don’t sleep well are much more likely to exhibit things like biting, hitting, kicking and punching than children who do sleep well,” she said.
Crucial to enough sleep is a good bedtime routine. Gurney said if parents don’t take the time to wind children down with a calm routine, the child may get a second wind while they’re being prepared for bed and don’t seem tired.
Getting enough exercise, stopping screen time half-an-hour before bed, and restricting caffeine and sugar to daytime is also essential for a child getting to sleep.
Previous research has shown that children who go to sleep after 9 p.m. suffer from less sleep than those who go to bed earlier.
Gurney trains nurses to recognise the link between behavioural issues in children and poor sleep habits.
Netmums.com in association with the Institute of Health Visiting (IHV) did a survey with 800 health visitors on their knowledge about sleep.
Article printed from The Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com