Emily Oster, renowned statistician who analyzes data on all things pregnancy and child-related, recently did a review on a number of sleep interventions.
And as a recent client emailed me to point out, my “methods really are backed by science!”
(If you haven't worked with me yet, you may not yet know how often I encourage an earlier bedtime.)
The studies that Oster reviewed showed that children with earlier bedtimes sleep longer, on average, by 47 minutes per night.
That’s a big difference!
So if you are struggling to get your little one to bed earlier – and I know that the struggle is real for working parents – know that succeeding in doing so makes a big difference in their sleep and your evening relaxation time.
The difference is especially pronounced in high school students, who typically have trouble falling asleep early enough to get the sleep they need. Despite that struggle, students in the experimental group with a newly imposed early bedtime got an average of 72 minutes extra sleep per night. Given that more sleep correlates with better grades and fewer car accidents, this research powerfully calls for change in adolescents’ typical habits.
And adults: I know a number of us struggle with getting to bed early enough too. So while Emily Oster didn't discuss earlier bedtimes for you, I think it's fair to presume an earlier bedtime can be helpful for us as well... especially if you are prone to "revenge procrastination" -- staying up too late doing mindless things like scrolling on your phone to get more "me time." Consider sufficient sleep a great gift to yourself.
If you need help getting that earlier bedtime to stick, regardless of your child’s age, schedule a complimentary sleep consultation and find out how your whole family can sleep better, guaranteed.
Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and certified life coach for parents. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.