Early bedtimes are good for you AND your child
Early bedtimes are good for you and your child. It’s true! It’s no secret I’m a proponent of early bedtimes for children over the age of 3 months, so I thought I’d give you a brief outline on why. Here are five reasons to convince you to establish early bedtimes for the younger members of your household.
By “early” I mean in bed somewhere between 6pm and 8pm – and asleep 10-15 minutes later, all going well. Yes, your child’s actual bedtime will vary based on their age and whether they are still napping or not. And the time to fall asleep can depend on a number of factors too. But early bedtimes have the following benefits – which I think you’ll agree are worth it.
1 Your child is more likely to have restorative sleep. More deep sleep occurs in the first half of the night vs in the early morning hours. Deep sleep leaves us feeling more refreshed, it helps repair and build our immune system. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep in children… and the list goes on. Basically, deep sleep is the good stuff – and more of it happens earlier in the night.
2 Your child gets enough sleep… an earlier bedtime means your child is more likely to get the 10+ hours a night their bodies need to perform at their best. If anything, we often underestimate the amount of sleep our children need. Especially if they get their second wind and it looks like they’re not tired at all! Children need a lot of sleep and 10 hours a night is the minimum needed until the teenage years or older… indeed, it’s not unusual for some babies and toddlers to need 13 hours overnight!
3 It helps limit overtiredness. If your child has had a busy day (physically or mentally) an early bedtime gives them more of a chance to restore their energy with sleep. And that means things go more smoothly all round. It helps limit the tiredness that occurs from learning new things. And children learn daily. Often your child’s body will wake them up at the same time each day, regardless of what time they went to bed. So, to get through the day easily without getting overtired, early bedtimes are key.
4 More time for you. No matter what time your child goes to bed we still crave that time to be an adult (not a parent).. a couple of hours where we’re not at the beck and call of anyone. I’m pretty sure that’s not just me… so, the earlier your child goes to bed, the more “free” time you have. PLUS you can go to bed earlier too, AFTER you’ve had a couple of hours to yourself. And then YOU still have a decent chance of getting enough hours sleep in a row! Winning!
5 It also means more time with your partner. To watch Netflix and chill. Obviously, it helps if you’re not constantly up and down with a small child or wondering if someone will walk in on you at an inappropriate time (just as a zombie is eating someone on TV for example… that’s what you were thinking right?). Remember that deep sleep happens most in the first half of the night…
Have I convinced you, or have you already discovered that the time your child goes to bed makes a difference?
Given these things, could bedtime be a bit earlier in your house? Or maybe I’ve just reinforced you’ve made the right choice. I’d love to know if that’s the case! Comment below!
And if bedtimes are a battlefield, or sleep just isn’t going as well as you’d like it too, please realise it doesn’t have to be that way! Book in a FREE initial call, because chances are I can help! And of course follow me on Facebook and Insta for sleep tips, parenting humour and more..