The majority of parents believe that it is alright for children to stay up late from time to time. Nonetheless, according to some of the most recent studies, having children going to bed at the same time every day is connected to them having positive results at school.
The results of the studies
The studies have found that the children with consistent bedtimes performed better at tests on various subjects. Such results were visible especially in case of 7 year old girls, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. Their results were worse if they had irregular bedtimes.
It is interesting to note that little boys did not show the same results. Specialists claim that the girls who never went to bed at regular times had lower scores than their counterparts who had consistent bedtimes. At the ages 3, 5, and 7 boys also tended to have lower scores if they didn’t have regular bedtimes. This phenomenon was not visible in case of other age groups.
Why is bedtime important?
According to the findings of the study, irregular bedtimes affected the development of children, lowering their developmental scores. We also have to add that little girls are more susceptible to their psychosocial environment and this having inconsistent bedtimes has a greater effect on them.
Cognitive test performance
The specialists expected to find that inconsistent bedtimes will also be linked to poor cognitive test performances, but this was not the case. In order to make sure that the test results will be relevant, all other socioeconomic factors had to be controlled.
The researchers found that the children who had inconsistent bedtimes and who went to bed after 9 p.m. usually came from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This means that these children came from poorer families and they had mothers with poor mental health. In the same time these children usually didn’t read on a regular basis and they didn’t have breakfast.
The results of the study may be explained by the fact that the children with inconsistent bedtimes didn’t have enough quality sleep. Another aspect to consider is that the circadian rhythms of the body may be interrupted if a person doesn’t have enough quality sleep.
One of the consequences of children not having enough sleep is lack of concentration. In more severe cases it is also possible to experience cognitive impairment. According to the specialists it is just natural to see long-term effects of children not having enough sleep.