What Time Should Kids Go to Bed?

Are you struggling to wake up your kids for school? Does their sleeping schedule affect their activity during the day?
Bedtime directly impacts many aspects of your child’s physical and mental health. Making sure your kid goes to bed at the right time and gets enough sleep is essential for their growth. That’s why kids need to have a sleeping schedule suitable for their age.
You may be wondering, what time should kids go to bed? How much sleep should they get?
No worries! In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about when kids should go to bed. So, stick around.

How Much Sleep Should Kids Get?

The amount of sleep your kid needs depends on several factors. The most important is age, while other aspects may include health and environmental conditions.
According to your kid’s age, here’s how much sleep they should be getting each night:
  • 1–4 months old: 14 to 15
  • 4–12 months old: 13 to 15
  • 1–3 years old: 12 to 14
  • 3–6 years old: 10 to 12
  • 7–12 years old: 10 to 11
  • 12–18 years old: 8 to 9

What Time Should Kids Go to Bed?

The time your kids go to bed is just as important as how much sleep they get. Our brains follow the sun and moon's 24-hour day and night cycle. That means your brain is fully aware that it should be resting at night and more active and energized in the morning.
This is called our biological clock, or circadian rhythm. Disturbing the balance of the circadian rhythm can lead to multiple sleeping disorders, even if your child is getting enough sleep.
Here are the general sleep guidelines according to your kid’s age:

Newborns

Newborn babies don’t have their circadian rhythm set just yet. That’s why they typically sleep for two to four hours in short spurts around the day.
On average, infants up to four weeks old should be getting 15 to 17 hours per day.

1–4 Months

Babies should start developing a regular sleeping pattern rather than short spurts. You’ll notice that they begin to sleep more at night rather than in the morning, which means their circadian rhythms slowly start to take shape.
During their first four months, babies should get around 14 to 15 hours of sleep.

4–8 Months

During this time, your baby will develop their circadian rhythms. So, you should start setting up a regular bedtime for the baby. Naps are also essential at this period of age.
Ideally, you want your kid to sleep from around 5 p.m to 7 a.m. and have three naps around 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m.

8–15 Months

While your baby still needs 13 to 15 hours of sleep daily, you should try moving bedtime to earlier in the evening. Also, try setting your baby down for one or two naps instead of three.

15 Months –3 Years

You can start limiting the number of naps your kid can have at that age. You should also move your kid’s bedtime to an earlier hour to compensate for their lack of naps.
The best bedtime for kids at that age is around 6 p.m. This means they should be getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep.

3–6 Years Old

Typically, 10 to 12 hours per day are what you should be aiming for during this stage. Their bedtime should be between 7 p.m.–8 p.m.
This is the ideal stage for teaching your kids about the importance of going to bed early. Setting up their sleeping patterns around this age is crucial to their growth.

7–12 Years Old

Since kids around this age are going to school and doing all sorts of activities. They’re also experiencing physical growth. So, you need to make sure your kid is getting enough sleep around that age.
Kids at that age need around 10 hours of sleep around that age. So, it’s ideal that they go to bed as early as 8 in the evening.

12–18 Years Old

Most teenagers tend to stay up until late hours. While they still need at least 8 – 9 hours of sleep, they need to have ample nighttime rest to ensure their physical and mental health.
Teenagers should go to bed around 9 to 10 p.m. We understand that getting your teenager to sleep at that time might be challenging. However, it would be much easier if they had been used to a regular sleeping pattern since childhood.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

An imbalance in your kids’ internal clock can lead to problems later on. Thus, it’s a smart idea to get your kids used to a bedtime routine as early as possible to avoid issues such as these:
  • Difficulty falling asleep at their regular bedtime
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive sleep
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of daytime alertness
  • Anxiety

Why Is Getting Enough Sleep Important for Kids?

A good night’s rest is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Adults and children can be significantly affected by getting less sleep than they should. Yet, lack of sleep tends to affect kids more than adults.
Kids who don’t get adequate sleep every day have been shown to have learning difficulties, lack of attention, memory problems, and bad behavior.
In addition, lack of sleep can result in various health issues, including:
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • ADHD
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety

Helping Your Kids Sleep Faster

Kids love electronics. Unfortunately, electronic screens emit blue light that can cause insomnia and make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
So, it's best if your kids don't use phones, tablets or watch TV an hour before bedtime. To do this, try to minimize the noise and lights to help them sleep more peacefully.
Additionally, eating and doing vigorous exercise before bedtime is bad for their sleep patterns and general health.

Conclusion

So, what time should kids go to bed? Well, that depends on how old they are.
Overall, having a set bedtime and enough sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health. Thus, setting up healthy sleep habits for your little ones at a young age can help maintain their health and reduce the risk of possible health issues.
Remember that the earlier you start, the easier it’ll be to get your kids to sleep at bedtime.