Setting consistent bedtimes may help kids score higher on tests, a new study has found.

British researchers looked at data about bedtimes and standardized test scores for more than 11,000 children who participated in the UKMillennium Cohort Study.

They found that irregular bedtimes were most common around age 3, and that these inconsistent bedtimes appeared to increase the occurrence of lower test scores in reading and math by age 7.

The problem was especially significant for girls who didn't have regular bedtimes at ages 3, 5 and 7.

The Sleep Foundation offers these tips to help parents set regular bedtimes:

  • Maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bed time routine
  • Make the bedroom environment the same every night and throughout the night
  • Set limits that are consistent, communicated and enforced
  • Encourage use of a security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal
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