(Image source: Wikimedia Commons / Alessandro Zangrilli)
BY ELIZABETH HAGEDORN
Having a tough time getting your little one some shut eye? As if you needed any more incentive, a new study finds putting your kids to bed at the same time every night could boost their brain power.
Researchers at the U.K.’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies looked at children ages three, five and seven. They found kids who go to bed at consistent times perform better at math and reading.
The precise time the children went to bed — regardless of how late — had little or no effect — as long as its about the same each night. (Via The Guardian)
The researchers explain irregular sleep patterns can disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation. They point out that while their study did find a link between sleeping patterns and cognitive development, it didn’t prove cause and effect. (Via CBS)
The study’s lead author says there are long-term health implications of losing sleep, writing:
"Sleep is the price we pay for plasticity on the prior day and the investment needed to allow fresh learning the next day...[R]educed or disrupted sleep, especially if it occurs at key times in development, could have important impacts on health throughout life.” (Via Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health)
The study found consistent bedtimes had more of an effect on girls than boys. This is something researchers suggest may be the result of girls being more susceptible to their psychosocial environment. (Via ABC)
The study supports other research showing adults can also benefit from consistent sleep.