Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Irregular Bedtimes May Sap Kids' Brainpower

TUESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Going to bed at different times every night appears to reduce children's brainpower, a new British study suggests.

The research included 11,000 children in the United Kingdom whose family routines, including bedtimes, were recorded when they were aged 3, 5 and 7. At age 7, the children were given tests to assess their math and reading skills and spatial awareness.

Irregular bedtimes were most common at age 3, when around one in five children went to bed at varying times. By the age of 7, more than half the children went to bed regularly between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

At age 7, girls who had irregular bedtimes had lower scores on all three tests than girls with regular bedtimes. This was not the case among 7-year-old boys, according to the study, which was published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Irregular bedtimes at age 5 were not associated with poorer brainpower in girls or boys at age 7. But irregular bedtimes at age 3 were associated with lower scores in reading, math and spatial awareness in both genders, suggesting that around the age of 3 could be a sensitive period for the development of mental skills.

The impact of irregular bedtimes seemed to be cumulative. Girls who never had regular bedtimes at ages 3, 5 and 7 had significantly lower reading, math and spatial-awareness scores than girls who had consistent bedtimes. The impact was the same in boys, but at any two of the three ages.

Irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, harming children's ability to acquire and retain information, the researchers said.

"Early child development has profound influences on health and well-being across the life course," said study author Amanda Sacker, from the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London. "Therefore, reduced or disrupted sleep -- especially if it occurs at key times in development -- could have important impacts on health throughout life."

While the study found an apparent connection between irregular bedtimes and reduced mental acuity, it did not prove cause-and-effect.

More information

The Nemours Foundation offers parents a list of bedtime basics.

SOURCE: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, news release, July 8, 2013

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Neurology
L. Matthew Frank, MD
Ingrid Loma-Miller, MD
Ralph Northam, MD
Svinder Toor, MD
Larry White, MD
Sleep Medicine Lab
Albert Ho, MD
Michael Strunc, MD
Health Tips
Baby’s Emotional, Intellectual Development
Boost Your Teen Daughter’s Body Image
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Could Your Child Have a Drug Problem?
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds
Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity
How to Talk About Drugs With Your Kids
Is It Time for Toilet Training?
Is Your Child Too Sick for Day Care or School?
Keeping Your Cool When Parenting Teens
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age
Letting Kids Grow Up…At Their Own Pace
Making Rules for Children Reinforces Love
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever
New Parents...Sore Backs
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Paying for Attention: Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Solving Battles at Mealtime
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
TV vs. Activity: Key Choice for Kids
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
When Children Say 'No' to New Foods
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick'
Your Child's Imaginary Friend…What It Means
Your Child's Social and Emotional Development
Quizzes
Child Development Quiz
Sleep: Test Your Knowledge
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma and Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Diphtheria in Children
Discipline
During an Asthma Attack
Ewing Sarcoma
Firearms
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Osteosarcoma in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months
The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months
The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months
The Growing Child: Newborn
The Growing Child: Preschool (4 to 5 Years)
The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)
The Heart
The Kidneys
Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.