Ensuring Early Years children are tucked up at a reasonable time can be tricky – but it’s well worth the effort.
A recent study carried out by the Ohio State University College of Public Health discovered that pre-schoolers that are consistently in bed by 8pm are less likely to become obese teenagers than those who drop off later in the evening; indeed, bedtimes post 9pm seem to double the risk of obesity.
The study, which looked at data from 977 four-and-a-half-year-olds, saw children’s bedtimes split into three categories: 8pm or earlier, 8-9pm, and after 9pm, Only 10% of those with the earliest bedtimes became obese teens, compared with 16% with mid-range bedtimes and 23% of those who went to bed after 9pm.
Previous research has suggested most young children are ‘pre-programmed’ to be ready for sleep in advance of 9pm, but the researchers acknowledged that early bedtimes can be challenging for some families.
The fact of the matter is that getting children into good bedtime routines is a sensible decision for all parents.