Kids with regular bedtimes are healthier as teens, study suggests

parenting 10/12/2018

Sometimes, putting the kids to bed should be classed as an official Olympic sport. But even though sometimes they kick and scream and try everything in their power to not have to go to bed, a new study has revealed that kids with regular bedtimes actually grow up to be healthier as teens.

Everyone knows that you need to sleep, but it can be easy for parents to forget just how much sleep little kids need. The general rule of thumb for adults is to get eight hours of sleep each night, but that may actually not be enough sleep when it comes to kids. For pre-school (3 to 5) and school-aged (6 to 13) kids, the National Sleep Foundation recommended that they get 10 to 13 or 9 to 11 hours of sleep, respectively.

The research conducted by researchers at Penn State, has proved that even though bedtimes can be a bit of a mission it is well-worth implementing in your household.

They found that about 33 percent of kids regularly went to bed at age-appropriate bedtimes for kids aged 5 through 9, according to Penn State News. The outlet also reported that kids who didn't have a bedtime routine when they turned 9 self-reported that they slept for shorter periods of time and had a higher BMI at age 15 compared to their peers who went to bed at an age-appropriate bedtime.

Study co-author Orfeu Buxton, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, said, according to EurekAlert:

"Parenting practices in childhood affect physical health and BMI in the teenage years. Developing a proper routine in childhood is crucial for the future health of the child. We think sleep affects physical and mental health, and the ability to learn."

Researchers also noted, according to EurekAlert, that bedtimes should include a "window". Most parents know that putting a kid to bed doesn't mean they actually go to sleep right away and that's fine! That just means parents need to try accounting for that.