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The real reason to put kids to bed earlier.

What time should my kids go to bed, you ask? As early as possible, the experts say, but not for the reason you think.

I think we can all agree that getting kids to bed nice and early is ideal, and it’s even better when they stay asleep for the recommended 10-12 hours.

Yep, it doesn’t happen in my house either.

In an effort to help you get through the bedtime routine a bit quicker, we’ve found some actual research that shows children who don’t go to bed nice and early can struggle with obesity.

Tell your kids that tonight.

In all seriousness, a comprehensive study has shown that children who get less than the recommended 10-12 hours can struggle with their weight. Conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, the study involved nearly 2000 kids and the more severe the sleep problems, the more they struggled with their weight.

The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Study leader, Karen Bonuck, PhD, told CBS News that children who miss out on much needed sleep or who have disordered sleeping can be less healthy. "When you don't get enough sleep it interferes with the production of hormones that are associated with weight and appetite," she said.

"Sometimes kids stay up late and they'll actually be eating at the time. It has to do with inflammation and insulin resistance." Some children who suffer from disordered sleeping and breathing problems while sleeping need medical intervention. Others just need an earlier bedtime.

I know, I know, it's not that simple to put kids to bed earlier and to ensure they sleep soundly for 10-12 hours and this study just leaves us feeling more guilty than before.

It's just something to keep in mind as you go through their bedtime routine and need a bit of motivation to see all your threats through, you know, like, "If you don't go to bed now you won't get to go bowling this weekend".

You're doing it them for their own good, not just so you can have a couple of hours of peace and quiet before your own bedtime.

Hopefully that helps you get them to bed tonight or makes you feel less guilty for putting them to bed before the sun has properly set. "It is dark kids, look, the sun just forgot to go to bed" and so on and so forth.

What time do your kids get to bed? What time do you wish they went to bed?

Want more? Try:

How much sleep you lose in your first five years as a parent.

10-year-old Aussie boy dies from morbid obesity.

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