Establishing a bedtime routine for kids helps them understand expectations and sets up healthier sleeping patterns. Even for adults, going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time improves the quality of sleep and overall health. Earlier bedtimes do more than just help the kids, though, getting kids to bed earlier also positively impacts a mom’s health in various ways. A recent study in Australia found that earlier bedtimes for kids improved their “quality of life” and also improved the mental health of their mothers.

Here are some ways that an earlier bedtime for children helps with a mom’s mental health.

Better-Behaved Kids

Kids behave better when they are well rested. Dealing with misbehaving or cranky children is stressful for their primary caregivers, who must deal with this behavior on a regular basis. When kids go to sleep earlier, moms benefit from better-behaved kids all day, which means less stress for mom and an easier time parenting.

Time for Self-Care

Experts agree that self-care is important for maintaining a healthy and positive outlook. When kids go to bed earlier, moms have more time for self-care in the evenings. Whether this self-care means taking a long bath, exercising to an online strength-training video, or relaxing while reading a leisurely book, the extra time in the evening can be used to help moms improve their mental outlook and health. Moms who take time for themselves are more often happier parents because they can lead a balanced life.

More Sleep for Parents

Regular sleep is important for mental and physical health; most adults should aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to feel rested. An earlier bedtime for kids might let parents get earlier nights as well. Where possible, they can complete chores earlier in the evening, freeing up valuable and limited time at night for sleeping. Adults who get enough sleep are less likely to become sick with the flu or a cold since their bodies are better prepared to deal with viruses and bacterial infections.

Quality Time for Parents

It’s important for a healthy marriage that couples spend time with each other that doesn’t involve kids. Parents who put their kids to sleep earlier could spend that extra time with each other, strengthening their bond as a couple. There are plenty of date night ideas for couples who want to have a stay-at-home date night while the kids are sleeping.

Moms who regularly spend quality time with their significant others often have happier marriages. While raising kids, moms can easily feel overwhelmed with the daily tasks associated with parenting. When these moms connect with their partners, however, they feel less alone and more appreciated.

A Much Deserved Break

Parenting sometimes feels like a 24/7 job. Unlike a regular 9–5, where government regulations ensure that employees receive lunch breaks and 15-minute breaks, parents often do not receive those regular pauses in their day. By establishing an earlier bedtime routine with kids, moms will get regular breaks that can help keep them level-headed and less overwhelmed.

Establishing earlier bedtimes for kids can help moms feel better, too. While most research studies focus on how an earlier bedtime helps kids, it is important to remember the benefits an earlier bedtime brings to parents. For these reasons, parents will always find it worthwhile to get kids to sleep earlier.

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