Constant bedtime routines during childhood improve children’s sleep habits up to 2 years

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A recent study suggests that sleeping routines and activities such as reading books and hugging caregivers from 3 months onwards promote better sleep habits until the age of 2 years.

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that there were a greater number of bedtime-related activities at the age of 3 years. predicted a longer sleep duration at 12 months. Similarly, when caregivers participated in more bedtime activities with their babies at 12 months, children slept longer and had fewer sleep problems at the ages of 18 and 24 months.

The findings, published in the journal Sleep, emphasize the importance of bedtime routines to promote positive sleep outcomes, said lead author Barbara H. Fiese, co-director of STRONG Kids 2, a UI program that promotes nutrition and healthy eating habits. families with young children. .

“Although bedtime routines have been associated with better sleep results for sleep and adults, our study is one of the first to examine its effects on children during the first two years of life, “said Fiese, who is also professor emeritus of human development and family studies.” These results suggest that already At 3 months of age, it is important to establish simple bedtime routines, such as reading books and going to bed regularly to promote good sleep habits at the age of 2 years. “

The Fiese team surveyed 468 mothers who started when their babies were 3 months old and again when the babies were 12 months, 18 months and 24 months old. Mothers were asked about their child’s sleep habits, including bedtime, wakefulness, how long it took the child to fall asleep, and the number of times they woke up. during the night.

Mothers also reported bedtime-related activities in which they participated with their child, including hygiene-related activities such as bathing and brushing their teeth, along with putting -you wear pajamas, read or listen to stories and say good holidays to family members.

The researchers tracked the consistency of families’ bedtime practices, such as putting the child to bed at about the same time each evening and how often they participated in activities related to bedtime. go to sleep.

The researchers found that parents ’informational hours reported that the children covered a wide range, from 6pm to about midnight. On average, however, children went to bed around 9:30 p.m. at three months of age and closer to 9:00 p.m. at 24 months.

Sleep problems doubled, from 4.9 percent at three months to 10.6 percent at 24 months, according to parental and national survey reports, Fiese said.

Nocturnal wakefulness decreased steadily as children grew older, with more than 43% of babies waking up at night at the age of three months to just over 15% at 24 months.

The researchers found that girls were more likely than boys to have sleep problems at 12 months and experienced more night waking at 24 months.

“When bedtime routines were consistent, parents reported that children slept more from 12 months and that there was less night waking and less sleep problems at 18 months,” said co-author Kelly Freeman Bost , child development teacher.

“Similar associations have been found with related activities, which increased in frequency as children grew older. When parents participate in more of these activities, had better sleep outcomes, including longer sleep duration at 18 and 24 months of age. ”


The study shows that children sleep better when they have a nocturnal sleeping routine


More information:
Barbara H Fiese et al, Hours of sleep, bedtime routines and sleep of children during the first 2 years of life, Sleep (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / sleep / zsab045

Newspaper information:
Sleep


Citation: Bedtime routines during childhood improve children’s sleep habits up to 2 years (2021, June 30) recovered on June 30, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021- 06-bedtime-routines-infancy-children-habits.html

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