What Is the Ideal Bedtime for a Child? | Psych in 60

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What Is the Ideal Bedtime for a Child?

What is the ideal bedtime for a child who has to wake at 7 AM and how much does going off schedule at breaks affect them?

The way to understand the ideal bedtime for your child is to perform an experiment: track their sleep for two weeks and get an average of the number of hours slept per night over the two-week period.

If that number was 10 hours, then you want to make sure that bedtime allows for 10 hours of sleep before waking is required.

Count back 10 hours from 7 AM and you have a bedtime of 9 PM.

Long holiday breaks are actually a great time to get a feel for what your child’s natural number might be because your schedule is less demanding.

It can be okay for kids to get a little off schedule over breaks, but you have to remember that it will take them at least 4 days to adapt to the new schedule.

With that being said, you would want them to start their school schedule at least one week before they have to go back to school.

If the school break is one week or less, you are much better off keeping the same schedule.

Watch other videos in our Psych in 60 series for more sleep tips and leave your questions in the comments below!

Click here for more content by Dr. Kristin Daley!

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