Science Says Getting The Kids To Bed Sooner Might Make You Healthier

mom putting kid to sleep

We all know how important self care is, especially for mothers. It's important for everyone to practice self care, but moms tend to shoulder an increased work load around the house, making self care all the more important. While many mothers try to find time to practice this often elusive self care, a new study is proving that something as simple as an earlier bed time for children may make not only the children healthier and happier, but parents too.

In a study conducted by Growing Up In Australia that followed the development of 10,000 young people and their families from all parts of the country, they found that those whose children had an earlier bedtime had a had a "healthier quality of life," according to CBS Philly. In 2003-2004 the study observed 5,000 children who were between the ages of 0–1 years as well as a second group of 5,000 children who were between the ages of 4–5 years old during the same time period. The kids who participated in the study were then followed every two years until 2009, when the first group of kids would have reached the ages of 6-7 while the second group would have reached the ages of 11-12.

Not surprisingly to many, the study found that data collected suggested that children who had earlier bedtimes were not only healthier themselves, but their mothers were also both mentally and physically healthier. The National Sleep Foundation lists a recommended amount sleep children should get, ranging from 18 - 19 hours a day for a newborn, to 10 or 11 hours a night for your teenager. This study supports that while that sleep is crucial to the development of the individual child, it's also important for the mother to ensure she's also getting the rest she needs. Any mother who has endured sleep deprivation thanks to her children would agree that a tired mom is a cranky mom.

girl sleeping
Credit: iStock / LightFieldStudios

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on a study that showed that mothers were more likely to be sleep deprived that women without children, and that having children didn't seem to affect a father's sleep patterns at all. Studies also show that children who go to bed earlier not only have happier and healthier mothers, but they also have better quality sleep. Children who can put themselves to bed and fall asleep on their own tend to have better quality sleep than those who don't, and they tend to sleep longer.

The next time you find yourself arguing with your child over their bedtime remember that not only are  you doing them a favor by sending them to bed at a reasonable hour, but you're also practicing self care and making your own health a priority as well.

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