It's the long old question that all parents ask themselves...what time should my kids go to sleep? Sleep is one of the most important things that a growing child should have enough of. Good quality sleep also means that your child will most likely be a lot happier, feel well-rested, and find it easier to concentrate on their daily tasks. In fact, getting the right amount of sleep is even more important for kids as it helps to regulate various hormonal cycles that contribute to normal development, growth, and repair. But what is considered a 'reasonable' time for your kids to hit the hay? Read on finding the perfect bedtime for your children..
So, What Time Should My Child Go to Sleep?
According to the NHS, kids between the ages of 5 and 12 require about 9-12 hours of sleep - while teenagers typically require about 8-10 hours. These long hours of sleep mean that children need to be going to bed at a reasonable and regular time every day to ensure the required hours are met. It depends on age and when you want them to wake up. For example, if you have a 5-year-old who has to wake up at 6:15 am, they should go to bed at 7:00 pm, while a 10-year-old who gets up at 6:15 am could stay up until 8:15 pm.
The best way to work out these sleep and wake times is to decide what time your child either naturally wakes up or has to get up and work backwards from this time, counting the recommended number of hours of sleep. Once you have worked out the sleep and wake times you want your child to be following, it is time to decide what bedtime activities will most likely appeal to your child and associate with sleep. The evening will also be dependent on what time you have dinner, so it is usually recommended to eat at an earlier time so that your child has enough time to digest their food before bed.
The Importance of Routine
Bedtime isn't very exciting for little children, especially those aged 5-12. You know how it is - brushing their teeth and winding down, let alone getting into bed and falling asleep. This is where a routine is essential and can be super handy when it comes to tucking your kids into bed. Having a general routine in place can help your child relate certain activities with relaxing and calming themselves before sleep, so they naturally feel the need to get into bed.
Your child's bedtime routine will also be dependent on any other activities that they need to do before they sleep (such as homework time, and hobbies). A few activities for a good night time routine include:
- Brushing teeth, having a shower/bath
- Listening to music or audiobook
- Reading a book while your kids snuggle up in bed in their cosy Night Owl Duvet
- Talk over anything in their minds that may be stopping them from fully relaxing or get them to write down their thoughts so you can discuss them the next day
- Deep breathing and counting to focus only on going to sleep and nothing else
How Important is Your Kid's Bedroom?
As mentioned previously, kids are usually hesitant to go to bed at night - who doesn't want to stay up to watch Paw Patrol? This is why it is essential to make sure that their sleeping environment is appropriate, calming and inviting. In this case, the best thing to do is ask them what your child wants their bedroom to look like and, most importantly, what kind of bedding suits them most.