alarm clockChildren and parents tend to view sleep differently: parents know how necessary it is; yet children tend to feel as if early bedtimes deprive them of fun. In "With Kids' Bedtimes, Consistency is Key to Learning and Development," The Huffington Post acknowledges that while it does take effort to establish a bedtime routine, the energy you put into this is well worth it because recent studies have shown just how vital sleep is to a child's growth and development.

After studying the sleep patterns and academic skills of more than 11,000 children from the U.K., researchers found that not only do children need an adequate amount of sleep; they also perform better in school when they have a consistent bedtime. It is possible that an inconsistent bedtime could be just one factor of many that causes instability for children who live in families without a lot of routine. In addition to this, researchers did not pinpoint whether the children who scored lower on tests did so because of inconsistent bedtimes, not enough sleep, or both.

Another recently published study found that four-year-olds that got less than 9 hours and 45 minutes of sleep a night were more likely to exhibit anger or become aggressive than those who met that threshold for slept.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, "…children age 1 to 3 need 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day, while 3- to 5-year-olds typically need 11 to 13 hours, and 5- to 12-year-olds need 10 to 11 hours."

It is important for your toddler to get enough sleep. This will make life easier for you and for your child. Adequate sleep can improve a child’s academic performance and help him or her to behave better at school and at daycare. Plus, as a parent you will get more time to unwind if your child has a consistent bedtime.