Study Moms Are Happier When Kids Have Early Bedtimes | 22 Words

Research has found that moms whose kids fall asleep early are more likely to have better mental health and be happier overall.

Jon Quach, the lead author and researcher at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, said in a written statement: "So mums and dads, getting kids to bed early is not just great for them. It's good for you, too."

Quach later asked his colleagues, who said that "early to bed" is going to sleep by 8:30 p.m.

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Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a Seattle pediatrician who writes for the Seattle Mama Doc blog, said that a very typical bedtime for early school-age kids whose hormone levels balance out is at around 8 pm.

"We know that sleep is a really relevant part of our mental health, our mood. We know in kids, it's related to behavioral [issues] and the ability to self-control," Swanson told TODAY Parents.

"When we think about mom, it makes a lot of sense to me that if kids are early to bed, mom is going to wind down, get things done, and feel like things are under control."

These results are based on a Growing Up in Australia study that children and parents took part in. They were tasked with answering a series of questions about the subject which began tracking thousands of Australian families back in 2004.

Researchers used information collected from parents of kids who were 4 to 5 years old, for their analysis. This continued every 2 years, up until they were 8 or 9 years old.

After pulling all the data together over the 4 years, the researchers found children with earlier bedtimes had "better health-related quality of life" compared to the other children, and their mothers had better mental health too.

And the results found that it didn't even matter how long the kids slept, just that they needed to go to bed at that time. The findings were finally presented at the Sleep DownUnder 2015 conference in Melbourne in June.

The U.S. National Sleep Foundation recommends ten to thirteen hours of sleep for preschoolers and 9 to eleven hours of sleep for children of school-age.

Swanson noted that kids do a lot better in their day-to-day life when they have a consistent bedtime, but it can be difficult to upkeep.

"Without question, people struggle with bedtime," she said. "That might be the result of having a child overscheduled... The other thing we know is we're starting to see the creep of digital devices into the bedtime routine and into the bedroom itself."

She noted that the blue light that comes from these electronic devices affects the ability of the mind to wind down.

"There is no question that consistency and prioritization of sleep are going to make your life better," Swanson said.

So it proves it... Early nights are, indeed, the way forward!