Parents listen up. An extra 27 minutes. That may be all it takes for kids to behave better in school. A new study finds that children are more likely to be alert and less likely to be disruptive if they get 27 minutes more sleep at night.
Researchers from McGill University in Canada also found children who slept an hour less each night were more impulsive, irritable, frustrated and quicker to cry. Kids ages 7 to 11 were part of the study. “These new findings support the importance of sleep among school-age children,” according to researcher Reut Gruber. “Sleep must be prioritized.”
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children (ages 5 to 12) get 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night. However, the researchers behind the new study say that most school-aged children don’t even get to bed until after 9 pm, and 43 percent of boys ages 10 to 11 sleep less than the recommended amount each night.
“Small changes in bedtime and daily routine could go a long way,” researcher Gruber told WebMD. “One more video game and staying a little longer in a friend’s house … could add up and have a negative impact on the daytime functioning of healthy children.”
You might try your own sleep study on your kids. Put them to bed a little earlier, and see if they behave and perform better. It just might be the best 27 minutes you’ve ever invested in your kids.