Are Your Kids Going to Bed at the Right Time?

What time is bedtime at your house? A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that bedtime itself isn’t so important – but consistency is.  CNN’s blog, The Chart covers the study in more detail, but basically the authors found that kiddos who went to bed around the same time each night performed better on intellectual tests than their peers whose bedtimes were more variable.

Of course, kids (and adults too!) need lots of sleep.  For a list of how much sleep kids need for optimal health look here.

So how do we set regular, consistent bedtimes for our kids (and ourselves)?

Be realistic.  A 7:00pm bedtime might have worked when your wee-one was 2, but now that they’re 10 it just might not be feasible what with t-ball, piano lessons, and homework to manage.  Pick a time that allows your family to do what you need to do each day AND get the recommended amount of sleep and stick with that.

Make your bedtime routine, routine.  The new study tells us that consistent bedtimes are important.  In order for that to happen, we need a consistent bedtime routine too.  Bath, reading, massage, story time, dance-off – whatever your bedtime routine is make sure you stick to it.

Break the routine once in a while.   What fun is a routine if we don’t break it once in a while? Whether it’s once a quarter or once a month, consider letting loose and staying up late. Not only is it fun, but it will help you appreciate the routine you’ve worked so hard to stick to!