The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Parents setting bedtime rules can be “protective” of their teenage children’s health and well-being, helping them to establish good sleep routines as young adults and in the future, say Flinders University researchers.
Using feedback from 2,500 students aged from 12 to 14 between 2019 and 2020, the Australian study found adolescents whose parents set bedtimes had at least 20 minutes more sleep on average which can make “all the difference” to next-day performance—including reaching the recommended 8–10 hours of sleep a night.
“Most young people tend to stay up later and have less sleep when they are left to set their own bedtimes, but qualitative research is finding that adolescents are open to parental guidance to improve their sleep patterns,” says psychology researcher Dr. Serena Bauducco, a visiting scholar from Sweden.
“In our national study we also found some adolescents were happy to have parent reintroduce bedtime setting after a period of having no bedtime rules,” adds Bauducco, who says holding on to bedtime rules seems to slow down the natural trend towards later bedtimes and shorter sleep duration seen throughout adolescence.
The study, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, supports a growing body of research supporting the positive impact of parent-set bedtimes on adolescents’ sleep. Teenagers need between eight and 10 hours of sleep per night.