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Importance of Bedtime Routines for Kids

How Strict Are You With Bedtime?

Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite! If only getting lil ones down to dreamland was that easy! Children have a way of pushing their bedtime to the limits by thirsting for another drink, saying they need the bathroom and sweetly asking us to read "just one more book."

New research shows that providing tots with strict bedtimes can improve the quality and quantity of the shut-eye they receive and their overall health. According to the study, families with lower levels of income and education were less likely to enforce a strict end of the day (this was attributed to stress levels and fewer routines), and their children's health and sleep patterns suffered. The authors of the study also emphasized the importance of a nightly bedtime routine to help the tots fall asleep faster. Most parents dream their children would nod off to sleep without putting up a fight, but that rarely happens. How do you enforce bedtime in your home?

Got a few pointers you've picked up along the way for getting your tot into bed at an early time? Join our Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me? group over in our LilSugar community and share your tips!

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
We have very strict bedtimes for the children. One of the main reasons is because their bedtime isn't as much for them as it is for hubby and I. That's our quiet time alone, and it's important.
FrankiLee FrankiLee 7 years
I've had a bedtime routine with my daughter since the day she came home from the hospital. I would start the routine at the same time every night, and even though in the first few months she was colicky and wouldn't go to sleep right after her bath, book and nursing, I always started her bath at the same time every night just to establish the routine, and so she would know that it meant it was "quiet time." She has been a great sleeper, but I might just have been lucky this time around!
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 7 years
Very strict. Have been since he was about 6 months old and he's an awesome sleeper (2 years old) now. He knows he gets one book, one sip of water and about 50 kisses then it is lights out ;-) lol
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
We have more of a bed "time frame" than an exact bed time. I put our daughter to bed between 8 and 9:30, depending on how sleepy she is and how early she has to get up the next morning. When it is time for her to go to sleep, however, our routine is pretty strict and I put nipped the "one more book" or "I need more water" thing a long time ago. "Am I the only one offended with the lower income, lower education comment?" It's not a comment, it's the findings of s study. Why take offense?
vmruby vmruby 7 years
I'm an immovable object when it comes to bedtime while school is in session.I'm a little bit more relaxed with the routine in the summer.....
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I don't think its insulting.. i think it has to do with the fact that a lot of lower income households have jobs in places like retail or large stores, which refuse to give their employees the same hours every day. They go from morning to night shifts constantly, which can be very hard to keep a routine with. Not impossible, but hard.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I have severe sleeping issues.The majority of my childhood nights were me laying awake for hour upon hour, staring at the dark ceiling unable to sleep. My mother was very much a strict bedtime person, early to bed and up with the sunshine type person, and we were always in bed at bedtime. Around 7 years old is when she realized no amount of exercise or getting up early had an effect on how long I stared at the ceiling and eventually called out for her, and all her strict routines weren't going to change anything. She let me have a tv in my room and it really helped. I was able to watch a little tv, and later when I had my own room, a reading lamp for me to stay up later. As long as I stayed in bed resting while I read or watched, i was able to stay up. It really improved things for me, and nights werent so miserable. I have to get in at least a little exercise during the day, or I am up even later the normal. Unfortunately, being on the go and active all day long doesn't make it easier. I used to ride my bike or walk 3 miles to school in the mornings, which included an hour long weight training class, then in the afternoon I'd commute 2 miles to my job as a brusher and bather in a grooming shop, which is a lot of grueling, lifting, leaning, holding dogs down, scrubbing the crap out of them, working out the mats becuase people apparently don't realize dogs need to be brushed daily, then drying them with these giant dryer tubes that are insanely hard to hold with one hand, all while they fight their hardest to get away from you. Then i would commute the 2 miles home and start in on whatever yardwork I had been designated for the last 2 hours of the night like mowing, trimming the hedges, cleaning out the garage, etc. And after all that I still couldn't sleep before 1 am despite a 4 30 am wake up. The only time I get any real amount of sleep is while I'm pregnant. I've tried lots of different herbal and mind sleep routines to get to sleep earlier, and really none of them have affected it. I'm not willing to take sleeping pills when I can manage fine on the lighter amount of sleep. I can see the same patterns developing in my daughter, and while she has a strict routine right now while she's very young (1 1/2) I think she probably inherited my issues. There are some nights where she is just plain awake and we haven't given in and taken her out her crib. The results are she lays in the crib awake for hours upon hours. If as she gets older, she appears to have my sleep disorders and isn't just pushing to stay up later despite how tired she is, we wont be as strict. She can stay up later, in bed, reading or watching movies. She wont get away with delaying her bedtime if she just doesnt want to sleep. My mother was one of the firmest strict routines for bed no matter what people, one of those, just sleep type people and she eventually had to just admit that some people just don't sleep and you can't force it on them.
schnappycat schnappycat 7 years
We are very strict with bedtime and naptime. I've seen how the rest of the night goes when he is overtired and it isn't pretty. He does well with a strict schedule, so I see no need to rock the boat. I know my in-laws think I'm nuts, but it works and they don't have to deal with the fallout.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 7 years
Very strict.
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