Want Your Kid to Get Good Grades? Send Him to Bed At a Regular Time Every Night


Looks like my husband was right again.  A new study has found that getting kids to bed at the same time every night (read: early) is a very good thing.

Researchers found that a good night’s sleep is linked to better performance in math and languages – subjects that are powerful predictors of later learning and academic success, according to newswise.com.

 In findings published recently in the journal Sleep Medicine, the researchers reported that “sleep efficiency” is associated with higher academic performance in those key subjects. Sleep efficiency is a gauge of sleep quality that compares the amount of actual sleep time with the total time spent in bed.

While other studies have pointed to links between sleep and general academic performance, these   scientists examined the impact of sleep quality on report-card grades in specific subjects. The upshot: with greater sleep efficiency, the children did better in math and languages – but don't go nuts about science and art.  These grades weren’t affected.

 We believe that executive functions (the mental skills involved in planning, paying attention, and multitasking, for example) underlie the impact of sleep on academic performance, and these skills are more critical in math and languages than in other subjects,” says Reut Gruber, a clinical child psychologist who led the study, at newswise.com.

Low academic achievement in children is a common and serious problem that affects 10-20 % of the population. “Short or poor sleep is a significant risk factor for poor academic performance that is frequently ignored,” says Gruber, who is a researcher at the Douglas Institute and professor in McGill’s Department of Psychiatry.

We've been getting our son to bed (he's 13) on school nights by 8.  A brilliant plan.  Except, he doesn't fall asleep till close to 10. Actually, maybe my husband isn't so smart.


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