Research has found that children's bedtimes affect not only the child’s wellbeing, but the parents’ mental health too.
The Australian study found that early bedtimes mean that parents can have a more balanced life and that they end up being happier and a more positive influence on their children.
Researchers studied 3,600 Australian children during the first nine years of their lives and analysed their general wellbeing and parents’ mental health to come to their conclusion.
And the official magic bedtime number? 8.30pm.
If the kids are in bed by 8.30pm, it gives parents a chance to relax and unwind from their day, catch up on their own to-do lists and spend some time alone as a couple focusing on their own relationship, which in turn leads to a happier life for the whole family.
You could even use that time to focus on self-care – take a bath, read a book, meditate, have a glass (*bottle) of wine.
Earlier bedtimes for the kids also means it can be an earlier bedtime for mum and dad, so you can cram in that extra hour of sleep and make more out of your day.
The study found that the earlier bedtimes also meant that the kids had a better quality of life, regardless of what time they woke up. A strict bedtime enforces routine and allows children to get used to having to follow a schedule in their everyday lives.
But while that’s all well and good, bringing bedtime forward is definitely easier said than done.
Some top tips for avoiding bedtime hassle?
Try to establish a bedtime routine to get the kids used to when they have to go to bed, which will also help them sleep better. Enforce a digital curfew to avoid any blue light before bed and get them to form a relaxing habit, like reading, having a bath or listening to a bedtime story. You could even try a sleeping app like Calm, which has a varied selection of children’s bedtime stories read out by soothing voices designed to coax you to sleep.
However you get them to bed, try and do it by the 8.30 mark. Ideal time to get on the sofa, glass in hand, ready for the next episode of Love Island…