So many parents struggle with bedtime — whether it’s fears, sudden evening thirst, or a case of the “one mores.” Most American children aren’t getting the required amount of sleep that they need on a regular basis. Approximately 64 percent of children ages 6 to 12 go to bed later than 9 p.m. Lack of sleep can have significant impacts on your child’s behavior — and not just extra yawning at breakfast. Healthy sleep is an essential component of your child’s overall behavior and academic success.
A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) demonstrates that a modest addition of sleep every night helps children improve their ability to regulate their emotions, including curbing reckless behavior in school.
The study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, shows that by adding an average of just 27 minutes to your child’s nightly bedtime will help her better control her emotions and impulsivity during the day. The study also demonstrated that reducing the amount of sleep every night has the opposite effect, with children being less able to control unwanted behavior.
How can you help your child get to bed earlier? It’s all about planning. To target an 8 p.m. bedtime, start working backwards:
Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: November 2012