Study Shows That Putting Kids To Bed Earlier Is Better For Mom’s Mental Health

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The title of this article may seem like common sense. After all, when kids go to bed earlier, it gives mothers some peace, quiet, and time to unwind. However, there is actually scientific research to back up the fact that giving your kids an earlier bedtime is better for them and for your mental state.

In a study conducted by Growing Up in Australia, researchers observed thousands of families beginning in 2004, and interviewing them every two years after that. These check-ins revealed key information about both the parents’ and kids’ mental and physical health.

In regards to the sleep data collected from each family, researchers were able to conclude that children with bedtimes that were considered “early” (8:30 p.m. and earlier) had generally better health and qualities of life. The same applied for their mothers, too.

When you consider the daily stress of careers, raising children, housework, pets, finances, and extracurricular activities, it’s not surprising that a few extra hours of quiet can help mothers destress and regroup. A few extra hours of peace before your own bedtime can help to clear your head and make you a calmer, more understanding parent, too.

If you’re wondering when exactly you should put your child to bed, take a look at this chart from the National Sleep Foundation that features the suggested number of hours of sleep a child should get based on their age:

If you’re having trouble getting your child to respect their set bedtime, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to limit the amount of screen time your child gets in a day. Constant exposure to TV, iPads, and other technology (especially close to bedtime) fills their brains with an information overload, making it hard for children to relax, unwind, and fall asleep.

Instead of becoming zombies in front of electronics after school, get your children into a routine of doing any homework and getting plenty of exercise and fresh air. Then, establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. This could involve a nightly bath and book before hitting the hay. Creating and maintaining a bedtime routine is pertinent to your child learning to respect and appreciate their bedtime.

So for all you parents out there, this should come as good news! If you get into the habit of putting your child to bed early, it will help them to establish good sleeping patterns and help you to relax and regroup after dealing with the stresses of daily life.