Sleep impacts children’s behavior. Duh.

I am the sleep czar in my house. I believe in bedtime routines, long and frequent naps on a schedule, and lots of sleep. My children can even recite Weissbluth’s “sleep rules” by heart. As we have had more children — and those children have gotten older — things have loosened up, but only a bit. Bedtime was at 6:30 for my son as an infant and is 7:30 now that he’s in elementary school.

This recent study shows that children who get more sleep function better. Duh.

But I take issue with this little quote:

“Going to bed one hour earlier, that’s not a lot to ask a family, can make a big difference in terms of a child’s daytime behavior,” says Dr. Meltzer.

Not a lot to ask a family. Huh? Really?

Let’s look at my kids’ evening routine:

  • 5:30 Full-on sprint mode. I make dinner; the 5YO and 7YO watch something on PBS; baby hangs on me or them.
  • 6:00 Dinner time. The kids and I are eating by the time my husband gets home at 6:22.
  • 6:45 Our 1YO is melting down and we scurry him off to a 7:00 bedtime. Big kids hit the bath or their evening routine.
  • 7:00 Baby is in bed. Begin reading to the bigs.
  • 7:30 Big kids in bed. Sometimes smooth, sometimes not.

And they wake up at around 6:30am on school days. So, how could we possibly back that up by one full hour?

What’s it like in your house?