If your practice accepts pediatric patients, the results of a new study may be sweeter than any lullaby: A regular bedtime may improve a child’s behavior, according to a study published in “Pediatrics.”

UK-based authors Yvonne Kelly, PhD, John Kelly, BEng, and Amanda Sacker, PhD, found that children who changed from nonregular to regular bedtimes showed clear nontrivial, statistically significant improvements in behavioral scores, as rated by their parents and teachers. Meanwhile, children with nonregular bedtimes had more behavioral difficulties. And there was an incremental worsening in behavioral scores as exposure to not having regular bedtimes increased through early childhood.

The authors state in their conclusion: “Having regular bedtimes during early childhood is an important influence on children’s behavior. There are clear opportunities for interventions aimed at supporting family routines that could have important impacts on health throughout life.”