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Sleep. 2015 May 1;38(5):717-22. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4662.

Bedtime routines for young children: a dose-dependent association with sleep outcomes.

Author information

1
Sleep Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Department of Psychology, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA.
2
Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
3
School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Avi, Israel.
4
Johnson & Johnson Asia Pacific, Division of Johnson & Johnson Pte, Ltd.
5
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Establishment of a consistent bedtime routine (the activities that occur right before lights out) is often recommended as part of healthy sleep habits. However, no studies have investigated the dose-dependent association of a bedtime routine with sleep outcomes, especially in young children for whom they are particularly recommended. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the associations of a consistent bedtime routine with sleep outcomes in young children (ages 0 through 5 y) in a large global sample and assess whether there is a dose-dependent relationship between the frequency of a bedtime routine both concurrently and retrospectively with sleep outcomes.

PARTICIPANTS:

Mothers of 10,085 children (Australia-New Zealand, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States) completed the Brief Infant/Child Sleep Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

A consistent bedtime routine was associated with better sleep outcomes, including earlier bedtimes, shorter sleep onset latency, reduced night wakings, and increased sleep duration. Decreased parent-perceived sleep problems and daytime behavior problems were also related to institution of a regular bedtime routine. Furthermore, there was a dose-dependent relationship, with better outcomes associated with increased "doses" of having a bedtime routine, both currently and retrospectively, and was found within both predominantly Asian and predominantly Caucasian cultural regions.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that having a regular nightly bedtime routine is associated with improved sleep in young children, and suggests that the more consistently a bedtime routine is instituted and the younger started the better.

KEYWORDS:

bedtime routine; infant; preschooler; sleep; toddler

PMID:
25325483
PMCID:
PMC4402657
DOI:
10.5665/sleep.4662
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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