Why kids should be in bed ear­lier

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - PARENTS AND KIDS | ADVERTISING FEATURE - Claire Haiek

HOW much should your child sleep? It’s an age old, heav­ily de­bated ques­tion in par­ent­hood.

You may be a tad twitchy with talk of bed­time, but we prom­ise we’ve got good news.

A re­cent study into the ef­fects of child­hood sleep on par­ents has re­vealed that chil­dren who go to bed ear­lier have health­ier moth­ers.

We know... it seems pretty ob­vi­ous, right? And you’re cor­rect – more sleep for kids means more sleep for their par­ents, so they’d be health­ier, yes? Cor­rect.

But there’s ac­tu­ally sci­en­tific back­ing which means we now have a mis­sion which fits in per­fectly with our Fri­day night plans.

A win for chil­dren and their mums.

Grow­ing up in Aus­tralia: The Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Study of Aus­tralian Chil­dren is a ma­jor study which has been fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment of 10,000 young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies from all parts of Aus­tralia.

It com­menced in 2003 and cov­ers a wide ar­ray of top­ics re­lat­ing to ed­u­ca­tion, child care, par­ent­ing and health (among oth­ers).

The same fam­i­lies were re­vis­ited ev­ery two years and data was col­lected from a va­ri­ety of sources, such as their med­i­cal his­tory from Medi­care, NAPLAN scores and ABS sta­tis­tics.

Re­sults re­vealed in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to many dif­fer­ent ar­eas such as health and ed­u­ca­tion, but there was one that stood out for us, par­tic­u­larly as we head into the first week­end since the tran­si­tion to day­light sav­ing.

A sum­mary of some of the more in­ter­est­ing dis­cov­er­ies states “data col­lected sug­gested that chil­dren who had ear­lier bed­times were not only health­ier them­selves, but their moth­ers were also both men­tally and phys­i­cally health­ier”.

Not only is an ear­lier bed­time for kids bet­ter for their own ben­e­fit, but putting them to bed ear­lier can lead to bet­ter men­tal health out­comes for mums too.

How much is enough sleep?

As ba­bies grow into tod­dlers and then young chil­dren and onto teenagers, their sleep needs evolve.

So how much sleep is enough for your lit­tle ones?

We’ve put to­gether a sim­ple guide to give you a rough idea of how much sleep your child needs per night:

Tod­dlers: 11-14 hours Preschool­ers: 10-13 hours School aged kids: 9-11 hours

Teenagers: 8-10 hours Quick, it’s not too late to ban­ish them to their beds now. — www.kidspot.com

PHOTO: AGENCY

LUL­LABY: More sleep has health ben­e­fits for you and your chil­dren.

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