Bedtime routines, child wellbeing and development

George Kitsaras, Michaela Goodwin, Julia Allan, Michael P. Kelly, Iain A. Pretty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Bedtime routines has shown important associations with
areas associated with child wellbeing and development. Research into
bedtime routines is limited with studies mainly focusing on quality of sleep.
The objectives of the present study were to examine the relationship between
bedtime routines and a variety of factors associated with child wellbeing and
to examine possible determinants of bedtime routines. Methods. A total of 50
families with children between 3 and 5 years old took part in the study. Data
on bedtime routines, parenting styles, school readiness, children’s dental
health, and executive function were collected. Results. Children in families
with optimal bedtime routines showed better performance in terms of
executive function, specifically working memory (t(44)= -8.51, p ≤ .001),
inhibition and attention (t(48)= -9.70, p ≤ .001) and cognitive flexibility (t(48)= -13.1, p ≤ .001). Also, children in households with optimal bedtime routines
scored higher in their readiness for school (t(48)= 6.92, p ≤ .001) and had
better dental health (U=85.5, p= .011). Parents in households with suboptimal
bedtime routines showed worse performance on all measures of executive
function including working memory (t(48)= -10.47, p ≤ .001), inhibitionattention (t(48)= -10.50, p ≤ .001) and cognitive flexibility (t(48)= -13.6, p ≤.001). Finally, parents with optimal bedtime routines for their children
deployed a more positive parenting style in general (i.e. authoritative parenting) compared to those with suboptimal bedtime routines (t(48)= -6.45, p ≤ .001). Conclusion. The results of the present study highlight the potentially important role of bedtime routines in a variety of areas associated with child wellbeing and the need for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number386
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018


  • Child
  • bedtime
  • parenting
  • school readiness
  • dental caries
  • executive function


Dive into the research topics of 'Bedtime routines, child wellbeing and development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this