Irregular bedtimes hurt kids' intellectual development
YOUNG children without consistent bedtimes in early childhood scored lower in intellectual performance tests at age seven, which may affect their health and well-being later in life, British researchers said.
Children who went to bed at different times on school nights when they were three and five years old did worse in tests on reading, mathematics and spatial ability, the researchers at University College London wrote.
The study analysed data on bedtimes and test scores from 11,178 children.
"It could be that consistent schedules are good for the patterns the body needs to establish," Dr Amanda Sacker, a professor in the epidemiology and public-health department, said.
"An irregular bedtime might mean that children are getting more sleep deprivation than children who go to bed at a regular time.
"If you can't get a schedule going by age three, but is able to get a regular routine by the time they start school at five, that will still have positive effects."