Good bedtime routine helps children in classroom
A REGULAR bedtime routines give a child a head start in life.
Youngsters who are put to bed at consistent times sleep more soundly and do better in the classroom, a study has found.
Parents who banned distracting computer tablets and video games and read a story instead were rewarded with more alert children – and their teeth were also in better shape.
The study, co-authored by psychologist Dr Julia Allan, of Aberdeen University, reported: “Lower levels of anxiety, anger, and fatigue being reported by parents with optimal bedtime routines.
“There is also an association between emotional and psychological wellbeing in parents and children, with those children having a non-regular bedtime routine experiencing more frequent behavioural difficulties than other children.”
The researchers said there were long term benefits, with the “importance of bedtime routines in developing a healthy attitude towards learning, reading and ultimately school.
It added: “Children who read regularly with their parents as part of their bedtime routine – or are read to by their parents – show improvements in language, reading and literacy rates as well as better school readiness.
“School readiness, closely associated with a healthy attitude towards school, has impact beyond the first years of school.”
In the study, 50 parents of children, aged between three and five, were questioned about themselves, and their children’s night-time routine.
The researchers asked whether the children had a regular fixed bedtime, frequency of tooth brushing; snacking or drinking in the evening and whether children were allowed electronic devices before bed; and if the child was read to or read before sleep.
Children in families with regular habits showed better performance in memory, attention and mental flexibility. They also scored higher in their readiness for school and had better dental health.
The researchers found: “Overall, the study results indicate an optimal bedtime routine is associated with better dental health, cognitive function, and school readiness.”