Regular Bedtime a Smart Choice
Getting the kids to bed at around the same time each night not only minimizes tantrums, but also can make your child smarter, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In a recent study, the AASM found that toddlers and preschoolers whose parents enforced a pre-bedtime routine and the same bedtime each evening did better on developmental and intelligence tests. The AASM recommends at least 11 hours per night for preschoolers, and children who met or exceeded that benchmark did better on tests that measured phonemic awareness, literacy and early math skills. Insufficient sleep, even if naps supplement nightly sleep, can have a negative effect on school achievement. With so much going on, the typical family is busy, but it's essential to stick to the script when it comes to bedtimes. A routine is important to establish early. When the child knows what to expect and which activities are bedtime-related, he's more likely to go to bed without a fight and have more restful sleep.