Bad news for parents – young children are better at choosing to go to bed than adults. That’s according to a new study by American scientists.
Experts have found that young children often go to bed too early, long before their bodies are ready for sleep.
Going to bed early can mean a break for parents, but not for children. They lie awake for hours, which shatters the biological clock of the young, Colorado scientists have found.
A good night’s sleep depends on when young children experience elevated levels of the hormone melatonin, which rises in the evening.
Factors such as the level of light outside and in the room, as well as the physical arousal of children can determine when melatonin has reached the required level for sleep. But this time is not the same for all children.
Going to bed that is out of sync with your child’s watch causes sleepless nights for both children and their parents.
Experts warn that sleepless nights for young children can increase the risk of emotional and behavioral problems later in life.
The study found that melatonin levels began to rise around 7:40 p.m. If the child is put to sleep at this time, he will fall asleep for a maximum of 30 minutes, while children whose melatonin rises later will stay awake until late at night.