MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Sticking to a regular bedtime and getting enough sleep may help young children score higher on tests of development, a new study suggests.
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Kids who had a consistent bedtime at the age of 4 scored higher on a number of tests, including some that measured literacy and math abilities. Earlier bedtimes and parental rules about keeping bedtime routines also were associated with higher scores on developmental measures.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that preschool children get at least 11 hours of sleep each night. Kids who got less than that had lower test scores, according to study author Erika Gaylor, a researcher with SRI International, a research institute in Menlo Park, Calif., and colleagues.
"Getting parents to set bedtime routines can be an important way to make a significant impact on children's emergent literacy and language skills," Gaylor said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Pediatricians can easily promote regular bedtimes with parents and children, behaviors which in turn lead to healthy sleep."
The study is based on responses from phone interviews with the parents of about 8,000 kids. The parents were interviewed when the children were 9 months old and again when they were 4 years old.
The findings are scheduled to be released Monday at SLEEP 2010, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in San Antonio.
-- Randy Dotinga
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