Parents in these states report having the most trouble getting kids to sleep on time

·3-min read

Bedtime has become more of a struggle for half of American parents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That's according to a new survey of 5,000 American parents with children aged 3-18, which revealed 49% have faced additional difficulties getting their little ones in bed since last March.

This might be a result of changing bedtime routines (60%) since the start of the pandemic.

Forty-three percent said their child's bedtime routine has become less regular since the start of the pandemic, and 42% are less strict about enforcing bedtime since their kids aren't leaving the house for school.

Commissioned by Zarbee's Naturals and conducted by OnePoll, the survey delved into the details of these bedtime battles — and revealed some interesting differences between states.

With 100 parents surveyed per state, results found kids in Florida to be most likely to stay up past their bedtime during the week. 

Parents in Florida said their child stays up late an average of three weeknights, and when they break their bedtime, it's by an average of 33 minutes.

California and Colorado rounded out second and third for states where kids were most likely to stay up past their bedtime during the week.

But bedtime isn't a struggle confined to these states: between all 50 states, parents surveyed said their child was most likely to stay up late once they hit the age of nine.

Furthermore, parents from Florida were also the most likely to say that it's been a challenge getting their child to bed — admitting it turns into a struggle about three times per week. 

That was followed by Louisiana and California — with parents in Washington the least likely to face a challenge when getting their child ready for bed (less than once per week).

"Bedtime can be a challenge because at the end of the day parents are tired. But helping a child get a good night's sleep is one of the most important things we can do to support their well-being. Even if kids know sleep is important, they don't always have the maturity and executive functioning skills to prioritize a good night of sleep," said Dr. Kelly Fradin, a pediatrician and partner of Zarbee's Naturals.

"With all of the change in the past year, it's helpful to maintain a consistent bedtime every night to promote the physiology of healthy sleep. A bedtime routine, limiting screen time before bed and making time and space for physical activity can also help. Parents can also consider trying melatonin as a tool to support sleep."

As if getting children to fall asleep wasn't hard enough, having them actually stay asleep can be the next hurdle — 48% of parents surveyed said their child has trouble falling and staying asleep during the night. 

To help children adjust to new schedules, fall and stay asleep, a fifth of parents (22%) have given their children melatonin, with 25% saying they first gave it to their child after the start of the pandemic.

"With all the adjustment to our routines over the past year, supporting sleep is one of the most important things you can do to help your child be well mentally and physically," said Dr. Fradin. "Melatonin is a helpful tool to bridge the gap in adjusting to new sleep patterns."

"Not all melatonin is the same, and as a pediatrician and a parent, I'm careful to recommend melatonin supplements such as Zarbee's Naturals Sleep products with Melatonin that safely and effectively help occasional sleeplessness in children without forming a habit or causing next-day grogginess."

For parents who've given their child melatonin, many said it helped their child fall asleep more quickly (68%), helped improve their overall quality of sleep (55%) and helped them to stay asleep throughout the night (48%).