Science Says It’s Okay To Let Your Kid Stay Up Late

Tired of fighting with your kids about bedtime? Well, according to science, you might not have to anymore. Research shows that forcing your little ones to hit the sheets isn’t worth the tantrums and struggles.

In FiveThirtyEight's recent installment of its “Science Question from a Toddler” series, five-year-old Kayla asks why it’s bedtime when it’s still light outside. And science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker admits in her answer that it’s more of a cultural thing than anything else.

“Research on American kids suggests that ‘bedtime resistance’—that fist-in-the-air struggle against the oppressive forces of lights-out via tantrums—is common and increases as children age," she writes. "Kids need to sleep, and they generally sleep more than adults, especially when they're really young. But there's a lot of variability in what's healthy."

Some kids need a lot more sleep than others. The National Sleep Foundation says a toddler can need anywhere from nine to 16 hours a day! So maybe our kids really aren’t sleepy when we’re trying to force them to go to bed.

And a longitudinal study from Switzerland found that kids’ “sleep resistance” - those bedtime tantrums we know so well - disappeared when parents moved bedtimes later. So putting the kiddos to bed later means less frustration for everyone, researchers concluded. And we’re all about less frustration!

Source: My Domanie


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