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Bedtime Routines for Young Children: A Dose-Dependent Association With Sleep

A sleep expert examines the associations of a consistent bedtime routine with sleep outcomes in young children.

Is there a dose-dependent relationship between the frequency of a regular bedtime routine and concurrent and retrospective sleep outcomes? This study closely examines the correlation of a consistent bedtime routine with sleep outcomes in young children (newborns to 5 years of age) in a large global sample.

Over 10,000 mothers were asked to assess their child’s daytime and nighttime sleep patterns, sleep-related behaviors, and general maternal perceptions.

Approximately half of all mothers reported a bedtime routine occurring less than every night. Sleep problems decreased in a linear progression with increases in bedtime routine prevalence per week.

Overall improvement in sleep outcomes, earlier bedtimes, shorter sleep onset latency, fewer duration of night wakings, more nighttime sleep and more total sleep were related to the frequency of a current bedtime routine in a dose-dependent relationship.

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