A recent study conducted by psychologists from the University of Manchester compiled a healthy bedtime routine for young children aged between 2 to 8 years. Moreover, 59 experts in the UK approved this definition published in the journal PLOS One.
The recent definition covers the following areas for the perfect bedtime routine:
- Brushing teeth regularly before going to bed
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Reading a book for some time before bed
- Avoiding any eatable before sleeping
- Avoiding the use of mobiles, tablets, and laptops before bed
- Healthy and calming activities before bed including bath and talking to the child.
This study also mentions two ways to devise a bedroom routine. One daily and the other weekly. According to Dr. George Kitsaras, the leader of this study, the parents should try to score at least 50 points for an effective bedtime routine. Dr. Kitsaras also mentioned that a bedtime routine is an integral part of family activities. Also, these routines have an important influence on the well-being of children, health, and physical and mental development.
The study provides expert guidance for parents who are looking for the ideal routine for their kids. Previously, no other organization compiled a healthy routine for children mentioning all the important aspects. The definition provided by these researchers also addresses the difficulties that parents face when they incorporate a healthy routine for their children. Moreover, the study mentions the best practices along with scientific evidence behind every piece of advice.
This research included opinions from every health-related field including public health experts, psychologists, and dentists. The researchers also employed the consensus from health visiting experts and sleep researchers. This wide consensus took place in four different rounds in which the experts answered multiple questions. The first round involved eleven experts from various health fields. The second round included 25 experts followed by the third and fourth rounds with 20 and 13 experts.
According to Dr. Kitsaras, the activities of children before their bedtime influence their well-being and behavior later in life. The experts suggested different activities to maintain the health and well-being of children. However, brushing teeth before going to bed was the most important of them all.
Children with bad oral hygiene can get dental decay and several tooth problems. Moreover, oral hygiene in the early years of life impacts teeth condition later in life. Sometimes, tooth decay in early life can lead to dental caries which need extractions later in life.
The researchers also mentioned the importance of a shower or a bath before going to bed. It not only improves the health of the child but also improves the relationship between parents and children. In this way, they can have some calming time to spend together before going to bed.
The researchers suggest that more people can add to the definition of this perfect bedtime routine with their advice. However, this routine led the base for the important practices for healthy children before they go to bed. These practices not only engage children in healthy habits but also influence their lifestyle later in life.