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What Time Should Your Kids Go to Bed?

Group of children giving thumbs up

During this pandemic, things have drastically changed for all of us, and Our kids are are no exceptions. We have noticed a huge change in our sons sleep schedule now that he is back in school two days a week and sleep is a vital element to staying healthy, not being depressed, and dealing with life.

If you have noticed that your kids are off your not alone  Adults don’t like to be exhausted but we can, for the most part, power through our day on less-than-adequate sleep. Our kids, however, cannot. Their growing bodies rely on good sleep for their mental and physical health, their ability to focus and be successful in school, their overall behavior, and their capacity to regulate their emotions.

Even so, you may have noticed they don’t particularly want to go to bed, perhaps out of fear they will miss out on the fun things you must be doing once they’re asleep. In fact, bedtime often represents the most frenetic time of day, when their energy level suddenly soars and their brains go into overdrive. They’ve got one more question to ask, one more book to plead for, and seven more sips of water to take.

The whole process can be so draining that you may actually consider ditching the traditional notion of “bedtime” altogether, as this desperate parent did before writing to Scary Mommy to ask for advice for getting back on track:

Most of us can relate to that sentiment (fine, screw it, stay up until you collapse!), but we also know we have to—or should—maintain as consistent a bedtime routine as possible. But how do you know what bedtime is the right bedtime? The answer is: It depends. It depends on their age, when they naturally wake up (or have to wake up), and where they fall on the spectrum of tends-to-need-more versus does-fine-with-a-little-less.

First, let’s start with the recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which are also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Stick to your guns, lord know its tuff to get the kids down some nights, I struggle all the time with my son, and food for thought if you don’t have a smart speaker, pick one up and set it up for them, allow them to listen to music or something to calm their nerves and next thing you know they will be out like a light

~ Danny


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