Culture Post: Study Defines Ideal Children’s Bedtime Routine

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.

A study by a University of Manchester psychologist has scientifically defined for the first time what constitutes a good bedtime routine for children between the ages of 2 and 8.

The definition, agreed by 59 UK experts is published in PLOS One—one of the world’s leading scientific journals—and will provide welcome guidance to parents who want the best for their children at bedtime.

Funded by the Medical Research Council, the definition identifies 6 key areas:

  • Brushing teeth before bed.
  • Time consistency for going to bed.
  • Book reading before bed.
  • Avoiding food/drinks before bed.
  • Avoiding the use of electronic devices before bed.
  • Calming activities with the child before bed including bath, shower, and talking.

Dr. George Kitsaras who led the study said,

“Bedtime routines are important family activities and have important implications on children’s wellbeing, development, and health.

“Organizations as diverse as the Book Trust to the BBC and the NHS are all engaged in this debate- but up to now, there has been no real scientific consensus to inform them; we need to untie the conflicting signals and messages parents receive.

“Our definition considers the parental stresses and difficulties that might arise at bedtime while incorporating best practice and available scientific advice.

“This study for the first time provides that expert and scientific guidance.”

Dr. Kitsaras added: “All activities around bedtime matter for children’s development and wellbeing. From the wide range of activities around bedtime, our experts considered toothbrushing to be the most important to remember each night.”

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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