Bedtime: What Time Does Your Kid Go to Sleep?

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sleeping, bedtime

Adorable photo by my friend Peajewel


Thanks, bhwrn1 for asking, "What time does your 5-year-old go to bed?"

It's a simple, great question, and on this one it's easy to forget that every mom really does bedtime differently. My 5-year-old is in bed between 8:30 and 9 (which still feels late to me but I can't figure out how to get him down earlier). If it were up to him though, it would probably be 11 o'clock at night.

Between him and his younger brother, at least two nights a week bedtime is fought tooth and nail. Somebody is invariably, hungry, thirsty, angry, sad, scared, you name the emotion. It seems like once a kid decides he doesn't want to go to sleep, he'll come up with anything and everything as a reason why he can't.

Most kids between 5 and 12 get about 9.5 hours a night of sleep, but experts agree that most need 10 or 11 hours each night, says kidshealth.org.

Here's how they explain why this important to kids, and I think it's a kick a** script--one I totally plan on hijacking for the next time I have to make my case about why bedtime is not the enemy

  • Not only is sleep necessary for your body, it's important for your brain, too. Though no one is exactly sure what work the brain does when you're asleep, some scientists think that the brain sorts through and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems while you snooze.
  • When your body doesn't have enough hours to rest, you may feel tired or cranky, or you may be unable to think clearly. You might have a hard time following directions, or you might have an argument with a friend over something really stupid. A school assignment that's normally easy may feel impossible, or you may feel clumsy playing your favorite sport or instrument.
  • One more reason to get enough sleep: If you don't, you may not grow as well. That's right, researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and your immune system - which keeps you from getting sick.

Now go to sleep! What time is bedtime for your kids between 5 and 12?

discipline, elementary school, health