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Erratic bedtimes linked to child behavioral problems

Children who go to to bed at irregular hours are more likely to have behavioral problems, according to a recent study.

The research, which appeared in the U.S. journal Pediatrics, found that lifelong problems could result from erratic childhood bedtimes, but that the effects could be reversed with implementation of a schedule.

“Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by a constant sense of flux, induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag,” said Yvonne Kelly of the University College London.

Inconsistent bedtimes can disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, impairing brain development and the ability to regulate some behaviors, the research showed.