Mother and Baby

The Real Reason A Bedtime Routine Is Important

If your tot likes to dictate just when he goes to bed, it could be time to get a routine in place. And your life will be easier in more ways than one

Putting your child to bed at the same time every night could be the key to keeping his good behaviour up, according to a new study.

Children who have irregular bed times were found to suffer from behavioural problems such as emotional difficulties, hyperactivity and problems with peers as their natural body rhythms are disrupted and can cause sleep deprivation, which can affect the way the brain matures. Forget letting him watch that extra episode of Tree Fu Tom then…

The results were found by a study conducted at University College London, which polled 10,000 children aged three, five and seven.

Putting your child to bed at the same time every night could be the key to keeping his good behaviour up

‘Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by 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,’ says Prof Yvonne Kelly, from UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health.

‘It follows that disruptions to sleep, especially if they occur at key times in development, could have important lifelong impacts on health.’
But before you panic about being lax with your little one’s bedtime, you can relax. The researchers suggest that the effects are reversible – so now’s the time to get that bedtime established once and for all! And putting a bedtime routine in place can be the trick to helping your child settle.

If you have any questions about your child’s sleep or need some advice, join our lunch club chat on our Facebook page on Wednesday from 1-2.30pm. We’ve got sleep expert Katie Palmer on hand to answer all your sleep questions.

What helps your little one get to sleep on time? Let us know below.

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