www.moms.com

10 Reasons It’s Important To Set A Consistent Bedtime

Little ones need a lot of sleep in order to grow. Depending on the child's age, though, sleeping at any old point in the day isn't advised. Parents should consider setting a consistent bedtime for their children, to be adjusted as they grow.

Related: 10 Things To Know About Adolescent Sleep

Why is it so important to have consistent sleep times for kids? Scientists, sleep therapists, and child development specialists alike all agree that sleep is an essential part of the human life cycle for both kids AND adults. Sleep alters the brain and the body in numerous ways. Read on to find out how important a consistent bedtime could be for a child.

10 A Little One's Functionality

Having a consistent bedtime ensures your little one will be able to function at peak levels the next day. They will wake up refreshed and ready to start the day around the same time, which can really help out parents who are busy or who operate under a tight schedule.

When your child is ready to get up and go after a good nights rest, normal activities are less taxing on both the parent and the child. A consistent bedtime can really help with that.

9 Parent-Child Relationship

The hour before bedtime is a bonding time for the family. It allows you to spend time with your little one in an (ideally) relaxed environment, and when it's consistent, he or she will feel more reassured.

With all that is going on in this day and age, it can be hard to find a few hours where parents can give their complete and undivided attention to their kids, so let this be the time. This can also be a time for children to ask questions they may not otherwise. This can build trust.

8 Settle Down Skills

Setting up a consistent bedtime will help your child learn to settle down–a skill that is important at a young age (as well as later in life when he or she may be stressed or upset about something).

Related: 10 Clever Ways To Block Out Noise While Sleeping

That ability to develop structure and self-soothing techniques will pay off down the road, there's no doubt about that.

7 Good Behavior

According to NPR, children who have regular bedtimes have less behavioral problems than those who do not. "Children who have irregular bedtimes are more likely to have behavioral issues than children who have a regular bedtime routine," found Yvonne Kelly after conducting a child sleep study.

In her study, conducted in London, 10,00 children who had scattered bedtimes were more likely to show signs of being emotionally withdrawn or act out. Who knew getting them to behave could be just as simple as setting a consistent bedtime?

6 Time For Parents

Knowing what time your kids will be asleep each night allows parents to budget their time accordingly. Need to do extra laundry, or maybe catch up on some "me" time? Bedtime consistency can help.

For busy parents who have children with a consistent bedtime, planning the day becomes a little simpler. Outside of unplanned occurrences like sickness, once a consistent bedtime is developed, his or her internal clock will start to wind down and it will be time for bed.

5 Learning Routine And Organizational Skills

Having a routine will give your little one independence and allow them to develop routine and organizational skills. Parents can help enforce the consistent bedtime by developing a routine. Drinking their water, brushing their teeth and so on.

Assigning these tasks allows your little one to develop independence, because eventually he or she will begin completing these tasks on their own. The routine and consistency of a bed night ritual will allow them to get organized and plan to accomplish these tasks. Since being consistent can help children feel safe, they won't be shy to try out their new-found independence.

4 Brain Development

We all need ample sleep to function at our best, and that goes for everybody. So, just how do parents make sure that kids are getting enough sleep to develop properly?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children aged 4 to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours per day, while those who are 1 to 2 years of age require 11 to 14 hours. Three- to 5-year-olds need about 10 to 13 hours and children aged 6 to 12 years need about 9 to 12 hours. Teenagers should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep.

3 Emotional Stability

We spoke about how routine and consistency can help children feel safe, but having a consistent bedtime can do wonders for their emotional stability as well. It all comes down to that safe secure feeling that comes with structured living.

Setting a consistent bedtime can help build a child's emotional stability. The time spent before bedtime when parents devote their time to tucking their children in can really help with emotional readiness. The attachment that children have with their parents and knowing that at this time every night they will consistently see their parents will help them feel more secure.

2 A Learning Opportunity

Reading before bed is a routine that some parents implement into the bedtime routine just to let kids know its time to wind down after a long day. When this is consistent --and bedtime is too-- bedtime stories can actually be a learning opportunity for children, allowing them to perform better in school.

Related: 10 Tips To Move From Crib To Bed

Bedtime stories in tandem with a regular bedtime routine can have immense benefits for children. It's a bonding time, a time to expand their imagination and reading skills, to settle them down after a long, tiring day. All of these things will be crucial for your child as they develop.

1 Developing Discipline

Having a consistent bedtime, as with any other rule or regulation, will help teach your little one discipline. Although children may not want to go to sleep at a certain time, having a consistent bedtime and routine will enable them to respect routine and understand discipline in their life. Neither of these things will be going away for the rest of their lives, after all!

The best strategy is for the parent(s) to set a bedtime that works for the entire family and stick to it. After all, children need to grasp the concepts of discipline and regulations from their parents and carers before they're able to implement them themselves.

Next: The 10 Best Sleep Positions For Optimal Rest

More in Parenting