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!
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.