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Total sleep vs bedtime

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I googled this and found this website: http://www.bhg.com/health-family/con...dtimes/?page=2
which says that yeah, a late bedtime is ok as long as the child is getting as much sleep as they need.

This is important to me because I keep hearing that kids are suppose to be asleep by 8pm for optimal sleep and I can't find one scientific reason why this would be so. My kids might fall asleep at midnight, but they get to sleep til noon. I know that's not possible for everyone and therefore earlier bedtimes are necessary. I thing all these "experts" assume an early wake up time when they push the early bedtime.

To me, it makes sense anyway that biologically our sleep isn't tied to clock time, but to light and dark patterns, before electric light, we got sleepy at dark and woke up with the light, didn't we?
post #2 of 7
My DS's doctor said as long as we let him nap whenever he is tired, he will naturally get all the sleep he needs. I actually notice that he sleeps much better when he falls asleep later (11-12pm). I'm not surprised because *I* was the same way as a kid, still am -- I do better going to bed at 10-12pm & waking up around 9 or 10am. Some people's biological clocks are just shifted a bit!!! Plus when you factor in daylight savings time & regional differences in sunset/sunrise etc. I don't see how, scientifically, 8pm or earlier would be "optimal" (unless like you said, they're assuming early wake up).
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am assuming of course, but I do think they must be assuming an early wake up time, given that the precieved "norm" is up early to get to school or childcare so mom and dad can get to work.

All the families i know that have a sahp or a wahp, vary widely in sleep habits, so it makes sense to me that its an individual thing.
post #4 of 7
Wow that is interesting. My DH and I are both night owls and so are our girls. They always have been. On a good night they go to bed by 9pm and most nights it is more like 10-11pm. I have struggled so much with getting them to go to bed early but for now I am just going to go with it since they seem to be getting enough sleep.
post #5 of 7
DD (4) typically goes to bed between 11 and 12 at night, 10:30 pm at the absolute earliest. She gets up at 10 or 11 am (we don't have to be anywhere in the mornings, even on days that I work, so she can sleep in). She needs around 11 hours of sleep to be at her best, and she usually gets that many.

I have battled this issue with DD, trying to get her on an early bedtime like all the other kids I know, who seem to naturally crash by 8 or 9 pm. At this point, I have stopped blaming myself and accepted that this is just the way she functions. My MIL has always basically functioned on night shift hours, even when she was a SAHM, so maybe this is just a biological clock thing with DD.

My DH and I were always early to bed, early to rise types before DD came along, and DS seems to be an early bird too. Having a night owl kid has changed up our schedules, and I look forward to the time when she is old enough that I won't need to stay up late to supervise her! I miss getting up at 6 am, sipping coffee, and having a little time to myself before starting the day!
post #6 of 7
I've always had issues with enforcing early bedtimes as well. We have been trying to change our schedules to earlier - 9 pm would be good - to fit with DH's work schedule.

It's really hard, because we are all night owls here and any deviation from a new schedule seems to throw us immediately back into the late schedule. We would like to get DD to bed around 9 p.m so DH and I could have a couple hours on our own. She's almost 7 and we don't have much time as a couple. We can't really do the mornings together thing because I help DD get to sleep and have trouble with insomnia while DH has to get up relatively early to get to work.

And I totally agree that there is no "scientific" reason for kids go to bed at 8 p.m. other than if they are in school, they need to get up early to accommodate that schedule.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
My oldest went to public school and I would literally dress him while he slept then carry him out to the car! He would groggily sit up halfway there and eat a poptart. That was the best I could do! My three youngest are home schooled so they just sleep til they naturally wake up.
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