Ensuring young children go to bed at the same time every night helps keep their behavior at home and in school in check, according to research.
A recent large study of more than 10,000 7-year-olds shows that children who go to bed at different times each night have more behavioral problems than those who have a regular bedtime.
The study was part of the UK Millennium Cohort Study and was published online October 14th in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers also found that the longer children were living with irregular bedtimes, the worse their behavior became. The behavior was rated by both mothers and teachers. Having a regular bedtime beginning when children are babies is beneficial.
How much sleep someone needs depends on the individual. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children of school age get 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Teenagers should aim for 9 hours of shuteye nightly.