Bed Time: How Early Should You Send Your Kids to Bed?

kids bedtimeDifferent parents have different approaches to family wellness, because, if families are all different, surely that makes things like setting a bedtime subjective, right? Not according to Suzanne Morgan, who, as the Head teacher of a primary school in Sussex, has written an open letter to parents, urging them to put their children to bed earlier. In her letter, Morgan wrote, ‘Obviously we can only talk to children about good habits and about the need for a definitive amount of sleep at their age,’ but what did she mean by “definitive”? Did she mean that this was serious stuff she was dealing with or is there a one-size-fits-all wellness-boosting approach to bedtime?

Until kids are two, it is recommended that they sleep 14 hours a day, albeit not continuously. If you’re honest, it’s hard to see why a two-hour post-lunch nap and a 7pm to 7am bedtime aren’t advisable for your wellbeing too! Up to the age of six, your children are meant to drop that nap and just stick to a solid 12 hours a night (you’ll know it’s about that time when they start screaming ‘I’m not tired!’)

From the ages of seven to 12, children should shave an hour or two off what they currently have, but even if you decide that they still need the full 12 hours, don’t worry, they’ll probably outwit you and play videogames in the dark. In her letter, Morgan warned parents that she frequently witnesses pupils acting out Call of Duty in the playground, but she’s probably forgetting when she read scary stories under the duvet with a torch and acted them out. Come on, we all did it.

At the age of 12, right up until you kick them out the house and make them get a job, children are meant to get eight or nine hours of sleep every night. Seeing as we adults are supposed to be in the seven to nine-hour region ourselves, this means that, at least in one respect, your little one is all grown up. However, as teenagers are growing more rapidly, and probably spending more time out and about with friends, it’s probably wise to get them sleeping as much as possible, to make them as pleasant as possible. However, that’s if they’ll listen to you!

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