Most parents have faced a grumpy child who refuses to go to bed.
But letting them stay up just a bit longer could damage their performance at school, says an expert on child development.
Parents should stick to one fixed time, because their child’s reading and maths could suffer, warns Dr Yvonne Kelly from University College London.
She told the World Sleep Society that seven-year-old girls and three-year-olds of both sexes perform less well in tests if they do not have a regular bedtime.
Allowing children to stay up just a bit longer could damage their performance at school, says an expert on child development (file photo)
Her findings also show that three-year-old children are worse at regulating their emotions and more likely to be obese in later life if they do not go to bed at the same time each night.
She says children can suffer ‘jet lag’ from going to bed at different times every day. ‘It is important that children go to bed at a fixed time so they can maintain their circadian rhythms,’ she said.
‘If you fly across time zones, it is difficult to function when you get to New York, for example.
‘If you ask a child to effectively