The Guardian noted that, regarding those kids who did go to bed late, they were more likely to come from a socially disadvantaged background, have a poor routine, skip breakfast, not be read to by parents/guardians, and to possess a television in their bedroom. Thankfully, the study found that the process is reversible, and that kids’ behaviors self-corrected when they got enough sleep.
“Family routines can be difficult to maintain when parents are working long and potentially unsociable hours,” the research said. “Thus policy development is needed to better support families to provide conditions in which young children can flourish.”
Dr. Carloyn D’Ambrosio, director of the sleep center at Tufts Medical Center, the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston and a non-participant in the research, said that “This is a very well-done study that in many ways reaffirms what we already know about a lack of sleep.”
“When people are sleep-deprived, they are a little bit moodier, have a shorter temper and their normal physiological processes aren’t as finely tuned,” Dr. D’Ambrosio continued. “Kids don’t say they’re tired, they typically act it out — most commonly by being hyperactive.”
As a recommendation for parents, Dr. D’Ambrosio would suggest “[picking] a bedtime that works for you and your family… It may not work every night, but just keep trying. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for a child’s health and behavior.”