Rested Kids Are Better-Behaved
If you spend any length of time with a small child, it becomes immediately apparent when they are getting enough sleep. As soon as one of them has a bad night’s sleep or misses a nap, they become whiny and difficult, and you can bet there is a tantrum around the corner.
Kids Often Are Over-Tired
The often repeated excuse that an ill-behaved child is “just overtired” actually has a lot of truth behind it. Children who sleep less have shorter attention spans and patience levels, and are less equipped to deal with the stress of the day (just like adults!).
Later Bedtimes Can Mean More Tantrums
A study illuminated exactly how important sleep can be to a child’s general behaviour as well as their performance in school. The Journal of Paediatrics released a study that researched 34 students, divided into two groups.
Half were put to bed earlier than usual for a week, gaining 27 minutes of sleep each nights. The other half were allowed to stay up later, and lost almost an hour of sleep as a result.
Teachers were asked to keep track of the students’ performance in class, both their attention and their attitude, but didn’t know who was getting less sleep and who had gotten more.
Well-Rested Kids Are Happier And More Alert
The results were very clear. All of the students who got more sleep responded more politely in class, were better able to focus, and had a more positive attitude and better behaviour overall. Those who slept less got frustrated easily, cried more often, were more irritable and even displayed poorer decision-making.
So if your child is having a hard time concentrating or displaying some behavioural problems, try an earlier bedtime. Even half an hour can show a vast improvement!