Early To Bed . . .

Some helpful thoughts as you begin planning your schedule for the upcoming school year! Our kids thrived on early bedtimes, even though some were more in favor than others. In fact, I would have kept up those earlier bedtimes for much longer if I had it to do over, even though it is a big challenge with a large family of multiple age groups.

Studies have shown that what time a child goes to bed is closely linked to how much he or she sleeps. But it’s more complicated than assuming that kids who go to bed 20 minutes earlier fall asleep 20 minutes earlier—and thus get 20 additional minutes of sleep. Paradoxically, multiple studies have found that kids who go to bed later take longer to fall asleep than kids who go to sleep earlier; they also wake up more frequently in the middle of the night, then don’t sleep late enough to make up for their deficit.

and

. . . an early bedtime may have benefits beyond its direct impact on sleep duration. Indeed, “when a child sleeps is probably as important or maybe more important as how much,” explains pediatrician Marc Weissbluth, author of the best-selling book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. That’s because the sleep that happens earlier in the night tends to be more restorative than sleep that takes place later at night and in the early morning. So putting your kid to bed early may ensure that a higher proportion of her sleep is the extra-restful kind.

and

. . . well-rested kids behave quite differently than sleep-deprived kids. . . Read the rest at Slate.

Jenny and Her Sleepy Child by Mary Cassatt, 1892

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