Bed Time and Bad Behavior

Is your kid giving you grief?  What time are you putting him to bed at night?

According to a story in the LA Times, researchers have found a clear link between the lack of a regular bedtime and behavioral problems in kids.  Just as you might expect, irregular bedtimes often lead to children to be little stinkers.

A study also found that the more nights that kids stay up late the worse their behavior became.

The research team from University College in London analyzed data from over 10,000  7-year-olds.

They looked at bedtime information collected from interviews with moms when the kids were 3, 5 and 7. The mothers also described their children’s behavior.

They found the children most likely to have irregular bedtimes, or very late bedtimes, were also more likely to be from the poorest homes.

Those children were also more likely to skip breakfast, have a television in their bedroom, and have a mom with psychological problems.

The good news is that the effects of not having a regular bedtime appear to be reversible.

Lead researcher,Yvonne Kelly, says, “For children who changed from not having to having regular bedtimes, there were improvements in behavioral scores.”

Dr. Kelly and her team suggest that pediatricians should screen for irregular bedtime schedules in young children, and encourage parents to do their best to keep their kids on a regular nighttime schedule.

But they also understand how tough that can be.

Dr. Kelly says “Family routines can be difficult to maintain when parents are working long hours and potentially unsociable hours.”


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