What is the best time for a child to go to bed?

Every parent in the world has to face this question:

What is the best, or right time for your child to go to bed? Well, keep reading for some great answers.

This parental discussion is not new, in fact it has been going on for many years, and as children become more engrossed in technology, their bedtimes seem to be getting later. At least in the days of candle power and no electricity in the house, one was almost forced to retire to bed early! But now all that has changed.

In fact it has become such an important matter that one elementary school in Wisconsin America, published a chart for 5-12 year olds to give some qualified guidance to parents. While no chart is probably 100% true for every child, experts did agree that it was ‘quite accurate overall.’

Meanwhile a headmaster from Sussex in the UK urged parents to put their children to bed early and not be allowed to watch TV all night and go to school tired. The article also set out the so-called acceptable amount of sleep from ages 1-18.

Bat as all parents know, every child, and indeed every household is different, and it is not always possible or practicable to put all children to bed at exact times. While we did have agreed bedtimes according to our children’s ages, we were constantly aware of other factors that might come into play: a pupil-free day, a later than usual school or sports event to attend, friends calling around with children of the same age, and of course, sickness and holidays.

When our kids first came long, we read lots of good parenting books to find out all the answers – before realising that no book had ALL the answers. We soon discovered that bedtime for an average two-year old was very different to bedtime for a 7-year-old! And we found that once our little ones stopped having afternoon naps they needed longer at night to make up for it. We read that kids under ten needed to have at least 10 hours sleep a night and we tried to keep to that where possible.

So, our kid’s bedtime schedule sort of ran as follows:

  • By the time they were starting school they needed to be in bed by around 6-7pm.
  • Through their mid to late primary school ages they were in bed around 7.30-8.30pm, and,
  • As the moved into their teens we still insisted on them getting a good 8-10 hours sleep a night.

Is that similar to other parents? Do you have similar parenting styles? We would love to know what others did or are doing about bedtimes for kids, and whether those times are ‘set in stone’ so to speak, or is there still some flexibility depending upon other circumstances? Please let us know below in the comments field as we would love to know and share it with others.

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Living each adventure, 
Christine and Trevor

Empowering people to live a healthy, authentic and fulfilling, personal and business life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else. 

What is the best time for a child to go to bed?

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