We’ve known for years that adequate sleep leads to healthier bodies, but we usually think about this in terms of number of hours of sleep. Now some large fascinating studies tell us that bedtime matters, too. Pre-school children that don’t get to bed before nine at night are 2x more likely to be obese when they get to adolescence! And that’s the age when body shape matters most to kids. Actually, the least risky bedtime for out little ones – at least where avoiding obesity is concerned – is before or around 8 o’clock. After 8, there’s a steady rise in obesity risk through the nine o’clock hour.
Knowing this and making it happen are different things, of course. Parents know that imposing structure is important but we often ‘cave’ to whining and some tears. The solution is to make bedtime something to look forward to – say, story telling or reading together. Bedtime at eight helps kids feel great!