SAN ANTONIO, June 7 (UPI) -- Parents who enforce bedtime may help their children be better students, U.S. researchers suggest.
Researchers at SRI International, an independent, non-profit research institute in Menlo Park, Calif., say having a regular bedtime is the most consistent predictor in 4-year-olds who have higher scores for receptive and expressive language, phonological awareness, literacy and early math abilities.
"Getting parents to set bedtime routines can be an important way to make a significant impact on children's emergent literacy and language skills," lead author Erika Gaylor says in a statement.
Gaylor says pre-schoolers getting less than the recommended 11 hours of sleep each night have lower literacy and math skill scores.
Gaylor and colleagues analyzed information from parental interviews conducted at 9 month old and also at age 4, of a nationally representative sample of approximately 8,000 children -- part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.
"This is by far the largest study of its kind to date," Gaylor says. "Previous studies have included up to 500 children in this age group."
The findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in San Antonio.