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Irregular Bedtimes Associated with Increased Behavioral Problems in Children — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 15, 2013

Irregular Bedtimes Associated with Increased Behavioral Problems in Children

By Joe Elia

Children with irregular weekday bedtimes have more parent- and teacher-rated behavioral problems than those with regular bedtimes, a Pediatrics study finds.

Some 10,000 U.K. children had their bedtimes reported by their mothers at ages 3, 5, and 7. At age 7, mothers and teachers assessed the children's behavior.

Children with irregular bedtimes had higher rates of behavioral problems than those with regular bedtimes. There was a dose-response pattern, with irregular bedtimes at all three age assessments having the greatest effect on behavioral scores.

Shifting to regular bedtimes was associated with improved behavior. Accordingly, the researchers point to "potential opportunities for interventions," noting that "screening for disruptions to bedtime schedules could be built into routine primary health care consultations."

Reader Comments (4)

Ian Arnold MD CCFP Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, University of Ottawa

In answer to the chicken/egg question I quote: "Shifting to regular bedtimes was associated with improved behavior."

Tracie Hendriks Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist FRANZCP Physician, Psychiatry, Maitland NSW Australia

And underlying the behaviour problems and the dysrupted bedtime schedule would be poor parenting.

Judith Ronat M. D. Physician, Psychiatry, partially retired, work at private clinic

Isn't this post hoc reasoning?

Jeffrey Brown Physician, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine, Llywelyn Grace LLC

Do these children have irregular bedtimes because they have behavioral problems or the reverse?

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