“10 minutes more”, “I want to finish this game!”, and “Not yet” — you probably hear these from your kids when it’s time for them to sleep.
It can be hard to say no to your little ones when they look up at you with big, round eyes. And so, you may have found yourself thinking, “Do they really need to go to bed so early?”
The next time ‘mummy guilt’ strikes, take comfort in a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The evidence it unearthed shows that preschoolers with earlier bedtimes are 50% less likely to develop obesity in their teen years.
There’s more good news, mums. Longer sleep has also been known to help with children’s behaviour, cognitive development and attention. A regular bedtime routine, including an early bedtime, can also help to reduce problems such as difficulty falling asleep and broken sleep.
How early is early?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends this much snooze time* for kids:
- Infants 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
- Kids 1-2 years of age: 11-14 hours
- Kids 3-5 years of age: 10-13 hours
- Kids 6-12 years of age: 9-12 hours
- Teens 13-18 years of age: 8-10 hours
* Based on a 24-hour period including nap times
With this, you can come up with a good bedtime for your kids, based on how many hours of sleep they’ll get before having to wake up the next morning.