Children and Bedtime
By Pam Henderson
When the clock springs forward on March 11, some children will struggle with having to go to bed an hour earlier. They can’t quite grasp the concept that morning will arrive 60 minutes sooner than it had the previous day. It calls for parents to summon all of their patience as the bedtime battle wages, waiting for the time on their children’s internal clocks to catch up to the time on the night stand clock. The challenge of putting little ones down for bed oftentimes intensifies in the summer, when daylight seems to last forever and there is enough natural light to read a novel outdoors at 9:00 pm. How can it be bedtime when the world outside is telling you it’s playtime?
Still, sleep is reparative and making sure your little one gets a good night of shut eye will help him be healthier and happier. It will also help you to be healthier and happier. Any sleep-deprived parent can attest to the decreased productivity and weakened focus that follows a poor night’s sleep.
Surprisingly, cultures around the world approach children’s bedtime differently. Researchers, in a 2-year study sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, analyzed over 29,000 families in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. They surveyed parents about bedtimes of their children ages 3 years and younger.