UNDATED (CBS) -- Many parents find that bedtime is a battle. Children like to stay up late but a new study shows why it could be a bad idea. Better sleep could lead to a better performance at school.
Seven-year-old Fiona Todd is a bundle of energy. So is her soccer-playing brother, Carson.
But their mom makes sure they slow down in the evening and get a good night's sleep. If they don't, mornings are a challenge. Roseann Todd says, "Nothing is running smoothly, they're agitated, they're tired, they're cranky. Then they start acting up together. It's just not a smooth morning."
A new study published in the journal pediatrics backs her up. It shows that more sleep leads to a better day at school. Dr. Alanna Levine, contributor for Babycenter.com says, "For children who had just 27 minutes more sleep for five consecutive nights there was actually an improvement in their mood and their behavior the next day."
Children ages 7 to 11 who slept an hour less each night were less alert and had a harder time handling their emotions and controlling impulsive behavior.
The findings present a challenge for today's busy families; how to fit in a full day of school plus activities and homework and still get enough sleep.
Doctors say for younger children, the goal should be ten to eleven hours of sleep. Parents can help, with a healthy bedtime routine. Levine says, "You want to limit things that would be stimulating to a child. This would be TV use in the two hours prior to bed, you want to limit computer time, texting time on the cell phone."
Roseann Todd makes the sleep routine a priority. She says, "Bed is sometimes a struggle but it's my goal because they need sleep."
The extra z's pay off both at home and at school.
The study was conducted in Canada and followed 34 children.