It turns out, earlier bedtimes aren't just good for kids' health and well being, they're good for their moms, too! (Now can someone show this to our kids?!)
Some people may think I'm crazy (or a genius!), but all three of my kids—ages 8, 6, and 3—are in bed well before 8:00 p.m. most nights. Not only do I agree with what doctors recommend—that children need adequate sleep to be healthy and happy—but quite frankly, I also value my alone time, sans kids.
Now science backs up what I've long believed: When kids go to bed earlier, moms are happier!
A Growing Up Australia study looked at thousands of kids beginning more than a decade ago. Researchers used interviews, conducted every two years, to evaluate families' mental health and sleep habits. Not only did they determine that kiddos who hit the hay by 8:30 at night displayed "better health-related quality of life," but their mamas did too!
Could it be because these moms had more time to do things they wanted to do? Like have a glass of vino, or chat with a human being old enough not to drink out of a sippy cup? That's my guess!
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Meanwhile, if your kids aren't used to going to bed early, it could be difficult to get them on a new schedule. Ultimately, it's about setting up a bedtime routine, and sticking to it. If you already have a routine that's working, but you don't start it until much later than you'd like, consider moving the time forward by 15 minutes or a half hour each day. Within a few days or a week, likely you'll see the benefits for both mom, and child.
What time do your kids go to bed?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and soon-to-be mom of 4. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.