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nitrogeneration's avatar

When do your kids go to bed?

Asked by nitrogeneration (119points) August 18th, 2011

Also, I need suggestions on my 9 yr. old’s sleep problems, he always takes about 1½ hour to get to sleep.

My 9 year old:
Summer: Bed at 12:45 A, Asleep at 2 A, Up at 11 A
Weekends: Bed at 11:00 P, Asleep at 12:30 A, Up at 10 A
School nights: Bed at 9:00 P, Asleep at 10:45 P, Up at 6:30 A

My 5 year old:
Summer: Bed at 10:30 P, Asleep at 10:45 P, Up at 9:30 A
Weekends: Bed at 9:45 P, Asleep at 10:00 P, Up at 9:00 A
School nights: Bed at 8:15 P, Asleep at 8:30 P, Up at 6:30 A

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23 Answers

tom_g's avatar

All kids are in bed either reading (my 8 year old) or being read to (my 5 and 3 year old boys) at the following times:

summer: 8:15pm
school year: 7:45pm

Lights are off by:

summer: 9:15pm
school year: 8:45pm

Asleep by:

summer: 9:30pm-ish
school year: 9:00pm-ish

Wake up:

summer: boys ~7am girl ~8am
school year: 6:45am

We don’t always hit these targets, but we get close.

Regarding your 9 year old’s sleep problems – have you identified any patterns? Is s/he getting enough exercise? Does s/he enjoy bedtime reading?

Bill_Lumbergh's avatar

When they burn off all the sugar they consumed during the day, and when the tranquillizers take effect!

Seriously, I would consider cutting back your 9 year olds bedtime by an hour. It would help to build up this routine, and perhaps suggest that they read a book while in bed. (It helps the body to rest, and calms the mind)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My 5 year old goes to bed around 9, asleep by 9:30 or later (he is the wandering around kind) and is up by 7 am. My 2 and a half year old goes to bed around 8 asleep by 8:30 (unless he plans to have a tantrum) and is up by 7 am. They both nap at pre-school from 1–3 pm. Now that the older one is going to kindergarten where there are no naps, he will go to bed earlier, probably in bed by 8:30 pm.

nitrogeneration's avatar

For me, my children do this before bed:
5 yr old (shares room with parents):
-Have a drink
-Talk to parents for 10 minutes

9 year old (own room):
-Have a drink

9 year old:

nitrogeneration's avatar

Sugar makes you hyper = Myth, there’s no difference in hyperactivity in my 9 year old whether he eats sugar-free or sugary foods and drinks.

He says baths and stories are a silly thing to do, they don’t help anyone fall asleep. (according to him)

tom_g's avatar

So your 9-year-old crawls into bed and the lights are turned off? No reading? If s/he doesn’t enjoy reading to him or herself, maybe s/he (oh, this is ridiculous. I’m assuming this is a boy from now on…) maybe he will allow you to read to him.

Also, even with my 8 year old, there are times she just wants to come and listen to me read to the boys.
When the books have been read, we also usually just talk for awhile. We talk about our day or anything they want to talk about. Note: we’re all laying down, and it’s very relaxing. It’s also one of my favorite parts of the day.

zenvelo's avatar

My 13 yr old: 9:30 on school nights, otherwise 10 p.m. Up at 6:45 for school, no later than 9 a.m. on non school days
My 16 year old- 10 p.m. Up at 6:15 on school days, no later than 9 a.m. on non school days.

Kids and teens need 9 to 10 hours of sleep to function well in school. And I don’t let their sleep preferences dictate my life on the weekends, I am not hanging around all morning while they sleep in.

SpatzieLover's avatar

You need to implement a longer wind down period in your home. No TV 2 hours prior to bedtime will help calm down your eldest child. We do an after dinner snack after we do outside play or inside exercise. Then, we do wash up and jammies. Next, we read. Since your eldest is at an age where he can read, I’d let him select a chapter book to read each week. Then allow for him to read one or two chapters prior to lights out.

If you’re still having trouble after implementing a routine, then it’ll be time for success training. This includes the rule: light out requires eyes closed in bed. If he can do that for three nights in a row, he gets a small reward (like a game of choice with the family), one week, his favorite dinner or an ice cream out somewhere, one month equals a trip to a museum or zoo or a small toy (you pick this and put it on the chart).

From the point you implement the routine, on…you need to keep the same schedule for success. No lazing around weekend mornings, and no alteration to the wake up time in summer.

tom_g's avatar

@nitrogeneration@SpatzieLover brings up something important: tv. We don’t do tv, but I know families who do watch tv and have had to have tv cutoff times because of the inability to sleep.

MissAusten's avatar

Wow. I’d go out of my mind if my kids were up that late. That’s the only time my husband and I can have a normal conversation or watch what we like on television!

Anyway, during the summer our 6 and 7 year old boys go to bed at 8:00. At some point before then, they get ready for bed. We read for a while (or sometimes just watch TV because, after all, it’s summer!), but unless there’s something special going on they are in bed at 8:00, lights out, and most of the time we don’t hear a peep from them until about 6:30 in the morning.

Our 12 year old daughter also gets ready for bed before 8:00, but she can spend the next hour or so in her room doing quiet things like reading, drawing, listening to music, or whatever. Mostly this makes it easy to get the boys to sleep. She doesn’t really HAVE to stay in her room, but sometimes we’ll watch something together or play a card game or paint our nails. She doesn’t have a phone, TV, or computer in her room. Lights out is 9:30, and then she’ll get up anywhere between 7:00 and 9:00 just because it’s summer. I don’t let her sleep past 9 or she has a hard time falling asleep at night.

During the school year, the boys have reading time each night for at least 20 minutes and lights are out at 7:30. They fall asleep pretty quickly and easily. They still get up around 6:30, which gives them more than enough time to get ready for school. Our 12 year old has the same routine, but lights are out at 9:00 and she sets her alarm for 6:00.

Not going to bed easily and on time has never been an option for our kids. They are loud, stubborn, and persistent but we’ve always insisted on early bedtime with a strict and consistent routine. I wouldn’t even know how to begin starting an early bedtime with a 9 year old, other than to apply to his reason. What is keeping him awake for so long? Is he getting up, doing other things?

I guess I’d sit him down and explain he needs a better sleep schedule for his own health and for your sanity. Ask him what he thinks is a reasonable bedtime. When do his friends go to bed? Take his opinions into consideration (hopefully) and come up with a time you can both live with. If he doesn’t go to bed, he starts to lose out on things he enjoys. I’d take away things like cell phone if he has one, video games, TV, computer. Stick with it. He’s certainly old enough to understand such a policy, but if he’s used to doing what he wants you might have a battle on your hands. For summer and weekends, don’t go so far off that schedule. Keep everything within a half hour time line, and if sleeping in makes it hard for him to go to bed at night, just wake him up earlier.

In addition, I’d make him get up at a decent time and make sure he has plenty of physical activity during the day. Wear that kid out!

MissAusten's avatar

Oh, and if he is really having sleep problems, not just the bad habit of staying up too late, you should talk to your pediatrician.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @MissAusten. Our son requires a supplement to help him sleep, as suggested by our doctor.

josie's avatar

It’s probably just as well that I don’t know.

wundayatta's avatar

As the tune goes, ”‘Round midnight” for my daughter (15 and study-a-holic). It’s supposed to be 10 for my son, 11, but he seems to keep on stretching it and stretching. Very clever about coming up with reasons to be out of the room.

filmfann's avatar

@nitrogeneration Yours looks like mine.

nitrogeneration's avatar

My 9 yr old also went to bed at 1 at his grandparents’ house this summer. Him (and his cousin) fell asleep at 4:30 am (yes, 4:30 am.)

nitrogeneration's avatar

And also, they went to bed at 2:30 one night and both fell asleep at 5:15 in the morning.

creative1's avatar

I am consistant regardless what day of the week it is or what time of year it is and will continue to be that way until probably high school. Kids need consistancy when it comes to sleep patterns.

My kids who are 2 and 3 both go to bed at 7:30pm and they get up about 6:45am

Its only on a rare night out with the kids that they will go to bed later and that is usually by 8:30pm the latest but that is very very rare.

Another mistake people make is staying with kids when they fall asleep, they get their stories in the living room before bed and them they go in their room and I tuck them in their beds and tell them I love them and walk out, its not long and drawn out and they are alseep with in minutes. My oldest went through a phase recently testing the waters of I need this and that but that was soon put to rest when all needs were met ahead of time because I kept a list of them all and before she went to bed I went down the list and now she is back to going to bed in minutes again. They like to test the us to see what they can get away with.

YARNLADY's avatar

They are still toddlers, so they stay up until they fall asleep. Sometimes I help them fall asleep by putting them in bed with the lights off, and I sit with them until they are asleep.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@nitrogeneration What is your son doing when he “goes to bed”. Is he actually laying in bed quietly or is he getting out of bed and playing with toys (my 9-year-old will do that from time to time). Try implementing an actual bed time routine and sticking to it. If he is getting out of bed, put a stop to it. You are the parents. What he says doesn’t matter. You used that phrase in your shower question as well and it really makes me wonder how much you let him decide things and how much you put your foot down and make him do things. As far as how long it takes him to go to bed, initially, I’d say it’s because of how late in the day he is sleeping. I’d start waking him up earlier (around 8am) each day, regardless of what time he went to sleep the night before. As he is up earlier, he will get tired earlier, and he should have an easier time falling asleep. The thing about this is that you have to stick with it. Get him up every morning, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If he continues to have trouble falling asleep after doing this for a week or so, talk to his doctor about it.

Hibernate's avatar

Usually after 22. Mostly when they are tired.


During the summer holidays, late, maybe around midnight to 1 am.

During the school year, about 9:30 pm. to 10 pm.

nitrogeneration's avatar


Nope, he goes on the computer a lot each day (he gets enough exercise though) and on the computer he doesn’t just play games, he actually READS articles and stuff like that.

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