New research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, has found that inconsistent bedtimes are linked to cognitive development and could affect health. They tested maths, reading and spatial awareness in more than 10,000 British children.
Once again we welcome the subject of children’s sleep being brought into the spotlight – it certainly backs up a lot of the research that’s been undertaken over the years.
I only recently blogged about the National Association of Head Teachers, which with support from the Government, is launching a set of guidelines for families across Britain following warnings that rising numbers of children aged four and upwards are no longer ‘school ready’ – this includes putting their kids to bed on time and ensuring they get at least 10 hours sleep. It’s quite shocking to think parents need a leaflet about this. Surely it’s common sense?
It’s so important to teach youngsters about good sleep behaviour – and from an early age too. A decent night’s sleep will help children to do better at school, allow them to react more quickly to situations, have a more developed memory, learn more effectively and solve problems. Plus it will make them less susceptible to colds and other minor ailments, less irritable and better behaved!
Routine is key to getting a good night’s sleep. It’s one of our top tips – for both children and adults. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, programmes your body to sleep better. Parents simply need to be stricter about enforcing bedtimes and making sure a consistent bedtime routine is followed – and that means removing or limiting distractions in the bedroom ie games machines, TVs and mobiles etc which are at the root of many sleep problems.