Regular bedtimes linked to better language, reading and math skills in preschool children

July, 2010

A large study reveals language and math skills were all better in 4-year-old children whose parents reported having rules about what time their child goes to bed.

A national study involving some 8,000 children, has revealed receptive and expressive language, phonological awareness, literacy and early math abilities were all better in 4-year-old children whose parents reported having rules about what time their child goes to bed. Having an earlier bedtime also was predictive of higher scores for most developmental measures. Recommendations are that preschool children get a minimum of 11 hours of sleep each night. These findings (which confirm earlier studies) indicate not only that lower scores on phonological awareness, literacy and early math skills are associated with getting less than this recommended amount of sleep, but that many children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep.

Reference: 

Gaylor, E., Wei, X. & Burnham, M.M. 2010. Associations between nighttime sleep duration and developmental outcomes in a nationally representative sample of preschool-age children. Presented at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, in San Antonio, Texas.

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