You know how when you didn't get enough sleep you can't think clearly, you feel crabby, and just about everything gets on your nerves? It's like that for our kids, too! Recent studies are pointing to the increased need for not just enough sleep, but having consistent bedtimes to alleviate behavioral issues and to prevent serious health issues from developing later on.
Most behavioral issues in your child today (tantrums, meltdowns, disrespect, and so on) can be traced back to not enough consistent, quality sleep. But this doesn't just mean cranky children NOW, since lack of sleep has been shown to affect behavior even years later. Chronic issues like ADHD have been found to develop from lack of consistent sleep in early childhood. According to the National Institutes of Health, not having a regular sleep schedule puts everyone at higher risk for obesity, high cholesterol/blood sugar and other metabolic disorders. This is all because irregular bedtimes disrupt natural body rhythms, undermining brain maturation and the ability to regulate behavior.
Inconsistent sleep and wake times -more than an hour difference from day to day - have even been linked to behavioral difficulties from early childhood through the high school years.
But this CAN be reversed!
Just like you can learn to be more consistent in overall parenting your children, you can also change your child's bedtimes and wake times to be more consistent as well - You can do this and I can help!
In the article, Routines Matter in Blended Families, I give specific ideas for how to create picture schedules to help your child be more likely to choose to follow the routines you've put into place.
In the Mom Minute video below, I show a bedtime picture book I made for my own son when he was 18 months old. The second video is a 7- minute live mini-training about creating routines in your home (and shows the same "When it's Time for Bed" book I made for Gabe in more detail).
Creating these predictable routines helps our children's brains build recognizable and repeatable patterns to set them up for success now, in your home, later on in life, and when out of your home.
Since we know that irregular bedtimes affect children's behavior by disrupting their internal body clock and leads to negative effects on their developing brain, don't we want to do all we can to protect their sleep and wake times?
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them!