Researchers reporting in the journal Pediatrics studied more than 10,000 kids when they were three, five and seven years old and compared reports of behavior issues to their bedtimes. Kids with irregular sleep were more likely to have lower scores on tests that measured their ability to problem solve, and higher rates of hyperactivity, emotional difficulties, and problems dealing with peers.
While the research is good, teachers have known this for years.
I routinely ask my students about their bedtimes, the consistency of their bedtimes and the presence of a television in their bedrooms, and this is what I know:
Student success can almost always be determined by these three factors.
Students with later bedtimes, students with inconsistent bedtimes (or no bedtime whatsoever) and students with a television in their bedrooms are almost always my most struggling students.
These three factors are quite possibly the most predictive of student achievement and behavior than any other.
Of course, these these factors might also be symptoms of an underlying problem, but the recent research would appear to indicate otherwise.
This should be good news to parents and would-be parents everywhere. Impose a consistent, relatively early bedtime and keep your child’s bedroom television-free, and you’re child’s academic and behavioral performance will almost surely improve.
There are no easy fixes when it comes to kids, but in comparison to many, this one isn’t too hard at all.