The 7 O'Clock Bedtime: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a child healthy, playful, and wise by Inda Schaenen is a good book. While it was not exactly all that I was hoping it would be it did have several good points on helping your children go to bed earlier. It was also packed with a lot of research on the benefits of an early bedtime for children. In order to achieve the 7 o'clock bedtime, your family will have to alter their lifestyle completely to work around your child's bedtime. I agree that most Americans are not getting enough sleep, especially children. However, depending on the ages of your children getting them all to sleep by 7 o'clock is not always feasible.
I liked her concept of an earlier bedtime a lot. One thing I thought was somewhat disturbing was she only bathes her kids once a week to help get them in bed earlier except if she thinks they are really dirty. I know there are a lot of cultures who do not bath very often but once a week doesn't sound that great. I think I would rather start the nighttime routine earlier or aim to have my child in bed by 7:30 so he's clean. Or if giving your children a bath at night is too hard to work it, why not bathe them in the morning?
Also, I was hoping for a few more tips on getting a young child to sleep earlier. I have a one year old and the earliest we have been able to get him to sleep is 7:30pm. She used the Ferber method with her children while my family uses the attached parenting method. Is there really no other way to get your child to sleep earlier than letting them cry it out? Especially babies. There are lots of ways to help your child go to sleep without leaving your young baby to cry themselves to sleep.
Overall I think this is a good read and I agree with her philosophy overall that our kids need more sleep. I guess it's like anything, if you want to achieve something you have to sacrifice something else and not plan anything too late in the day or evening. Not to mention there are some families that are unable to get their children to bed by 7pm because of the parents' work schedule. If you look at the bottom line, children need more sleep, then I think however you achieve the maximum amount of sleep for your child is great.