New survey finds 25% of kids struggle with bedtime because of anxious thoughts

A new study highlights the struggles that many parents face with their children during bedtime, including inconsistent routines and anxiety - UnSplash +

Many parents are having a hard time with their little ones during bedtime

A new national poll from the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has revealed the struggle many parents are facing with their young ones around bedtime

Of the parents surveyed, 25% say bedtime is difficult with their children, most often because they’re struggling with anxiety or worrisome thoughts

“Our report reinforces the common struggle of getting young children to sleep,” said co-director of the poll Sarah Clark. “When this transition to bedtime becomes a nightly conflict, some parents may fall into habits that work in the moment but could set them up for more sleep issues down the road. 

Mental health impacting sleep

While 90% of parents reported having some kind of bedtime routine with their little ones, nearly 25% said that their children often or occasionally struggle throughout the night with their mental health. 

Ultimately, over 40% of parents said that their children move into their bedrooms in the middle of the night. Additionally, over 35% of parents say their kids wake up in the middle of the night crying or upset, and 31% want their parents to move into their beds in the middle of the night. 

“Many young children go through stages when they become scared of the dark or worry that something bad might happen, causing them to delay bedtime or become distressed by parents leaving the room,” Clark explained. “Although this is a normal part of a child’s development, it can be frustrating when parents already feel tired themselves at the end of the day.” 

Consistency is key

The poll also showed that parents who didn’t implement a bedtime routine were more likely to struggle with their kids at bedtime. 

“Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is crucial,” Clark said. “When children don’t get enough rest, it can impact their physical development, emotional regulation, and behavior.” 

Clark also suggests that parents set up their kids’ room to be as comfortable and conducive to sleep as possible. Forty percent of parents said that noise from other rooms is disruptive to their kids’ sleep, while 10% of kids spend part of the night in their parents’ room. 

However, when the room is dark and quiet, kids are more likely to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get quality rest each night. Additionally, when kids are comfortable, parents are more likely to improve their own sleep. 

Quick and easy. Get matched with a Pet Insurance partner.