Why 8pm is the ideal time for kids to go to bed – scientists say!

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

Why 8pm is the ideal time for kids to go to bed

Scientists say they’ve found the ideal time for kids to go to bed. Not only will they wake up refreshed, there are added long-term health benefits, too!

A new study reveals that having an early bedtime may decrease the risk of your child becoming obese in later life. Not to mention they will be less cranky the next day. Hurray!

And the ideal bedtime that the study pinpointed was 8pm.

Study results showed that tucking your child up in bed by 8pm means they have a better chance of being a healthy weight as a teen.

Sarah Anderson, an associate professor of epidemiology at Ohio State University, US, and author of the study, told TODAY:

‘Preschool-age children whose bedtimes are at 8 or before were half as likely to be obese 10 years later.’

Researchers analysed data from 977 children in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, which examines child care and development.

They looked at what time parents put children to bed at age four-and-a-half, and then compared it to their BMI at age 15. The data soon revealed a pattern between earlier bedtimes for children and a healthier weight for teens.

Only 10% of the children who went to bed at 8pm or earlier were obese. While 16% of those who went to bed between 8pm and 9pm were obese, and 23% of children who went to bed at 9pm and later were obese.

The results were the same for boys and girls.

There have been many studies that link getting less sleep to obesity. Some experts believe that lack of sleep disrupts the balance of hormones that control appetite. So people deprived of sleep may be hungrier than those who get more rest.

Dr Shalini Paruthi, co-director of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St Luke’s Hospital in St Louis, US, said:

“What a difference an hour can make. The more sleep kids can get at night can lead to better outcomes in the long term.”

Another study from 2015, by Australia-based Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, also found that earlier bedtimes for children were more important even than having a long sleep.

In this study (which examined the sleep habits of over 3,600 children) it was found that children who went to bed before 8.30pm had a better health-related quality of life.

Not only that, but they found that in families where children go to bed before 8.30pm, the mothers are more likely to have improved mental health.

And so it seems that getting the kids tucked up in bed early is not only good for them, but for mums, too.

What do you think?

Thanks to NetMums

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