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How early is too early for older kids bedtimes? - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jes h View Post

I know he isn't always popular around here, but we loved Dr. Weisman's Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child for our post colicy son, and it has been a constant reference book in our house on sleep/behavior.

The reason I bring it up is that a crucial point in his book is that kids just need far more sleep than they generally get, and that common bedtimes have more to do with kid activities/parent work schedules than actual sleep needs of children.

So with that in mind, we start bedtime at 7:15 aiming to have everyone under covers/lights out at 7:45 (after jamies, teeth and 3 books).  That was our routine for our 4 year old.  We have had 3 different 5-6 year olds move into/out of our house (fostering) and they have all THRIVED on this routine.  In addition, we put everyone down for a nap/rest time around 12:30-1 till 3:00.  Again, all 3 older kids have napped during this time, and still gone to bed at the early time (waking around 7). 
 

Our son's particular needs require we be pretty strict on this routine, and only fluctuate for very special occasions, but in general, kids have responded positively to the routine and added sleep.  I am always amazed at the improvement of behavior (obviously could have more to do with just sleep).

 

So, I am all for early bed times.

 

 

Exactly the same here, except we do it with two almost-7 year olds.

 

They wake at 6:45 and have for over 4 years (DH gets up for work around that time and now they have to get up for school) They go to bed at 7:30/7:45 (lights out). We, too, do a rest time at 1-2. They no longer sleep, but somehow this break in our day allows them to 'reset' if it was a busy morning or they are crabby. It also lets me recharge for the afternoon.

 Sometimes they fall asleep right away, other times they listen to music softly until they do fall asleep. 
They both wake naturally 90% of the time before 6:45 but do not get out of bed (we have a nightlight that comes on at that time that tells them that if they are awake they may get our of bed).

 

Overall, I really really notice a behavior downslide with less sleep.  Statistically that age range needs 10-11.5 hours and since they can not get to school later and have to get up, we make sure that the bedtime allows for the sleep they need.

 

For families that have a later bedtime, great : do what works for your family. Later starting schools would allow for later wake-up times! Our area has 1/2 Elem. with 8 am start and 1/2 Elem. schools with a 9 am start. Works well for nightowls/early birds and fits the majority of work schedules (it will never fit all!), though it is more due to bussing conflicts w/ HS and MS. I know people that purposely do school of choice to get into early/late start Elem. school to fit their family schedules better.

 

Unfortunately, all the MS and HS start early- at 7:15 and 7:45. Way too early according to research and teen sleep needs!!

 

But if kids have to get up early, bedtimes should allow for the age appropriate range of sleep (both by our Pedi and the various other health specilists we have worked with over the years).

 

We keep the same schedule year-round.


Edited by KCMichigan - 8/9/12 at 3:14pm
post #22 of 47

*sigh* all this is soooo difficult when you have a night owl

 

and a stubborn child

 

left to her own devices dd would wake up between 9 and 10 during weekdays, and 7 during weekends. but no. she has to get up at 5:45 on weekdays.

 

she goes to bed at 10 with no problems. anything before that she has such a hard time with. and she'll stay in bed but we awake till 10 pm anyways. *sigh*

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

*sigh* all this is soooo difficult when you have a night owl

 

and a stubborn child

 

left to her own devices dd would wake up between 9 and 10 during weekdays, and 7 during weekends. but no. she has to get up at 5:45 on weekdays.

 

she goes to bed at 10 with no problems. anything before that she has such a hard time with. and she'll stay in bed but we awake till 10 pm anyways. *sigh*

 

Do you think she gets enough sleep? That's less than 8 hours. I don't mean this snarkily, it's a genuine question.

 

I think that while there are kids (maybe meemee's for instance) who really don't need much sleep, I think that a lot of kids are walking around chronically sleep deprived. This includes my DS who is 5. He gets 10-11 hours a night but I think he really needs 12. I do everything I can to get him more sleep but he fights it like mad. It's been that way since he was a newborn. 'He will sleep when he's tired' just doesn't apply to him. DD, on the other hand, will take as much sleep as she needs which is usually about 14 hours in a 24 period. She's 2. 

 

I know kids who go to bed late and don't nap. They are pale, with circles under their eyes. They fall asleep in a 5 minute car ride at 5pm. To me, that child needs more sleep. Their parents may think they are 'night owls' but I think they are just running on adrenaline by 10pm.

 

I'm not aiming this comment to anyone on this thread because I obviously don't know your child. I'm just speaking from my own observations. 

post #24 of 47
I think generally earlier bedtime = more sleep overall = better. But it comes to what and your kid agree to. Try letting him/her read for a bit in bed immediately after hte bedtime. That can help with the transition.
post #25 of 47

I wonder if you have to work full time so your kids get home around 6pm, then they go to bed at 7 or 8pm, how do you guys have family time? Within 2 hours, they have to have dinner, bedtime routines, so basically they have only 1 hour to talk or play at home.

My DD goes to bed around 9pm, I want her to sleep earlier but she is almost 5 and very shy, I usually try to talk to her about life & school so she can be less shy.

She's very attached to me, now if she stays at school all day, but have only 2-3 hours at home, do you think that long school time but short family time can make her more shy and closed up?

What is your suggestion about after-school activities regarding her shyness and going to bed early?

post #26 of 47
Thread Starter 

Jessica--Funny enough, my shy kid is more outgoing with strangers when she's had too little sleep. It's kind of funny, because DH and I joke that her sleep deprivation is a little like many people are under the influence of a little alcohol. It's not something we encourage, though, and it's fleeting. She can run a day or so like that, then she crashes into bed early the next night.

 

We homeschool, with co-op programs twice a week, but we also do a whole lot of activities, especially performing arts ones that run until later than I'd like. We end up having time together in the morning as a family rather than at night, which honestly, is much better for DS at least, because he is a morning person (only one in the family who is, though). 

 

My plan that I'm trying now is to start getting the nearly-5-yr-old ready for bed at 7:30 and asleep by 8. That makes 11 hours of sleep for him, because he's always up at 7. So far, he's okay with this, but if it is 1 minute past 8, or we try to "stay up" and do something like s'mores with the neighbors (last night) at 8pm, thinking a quick s'more, already in pjs, just brush teeth and bed at 8:30... he is a meltdown tantrum nightmare. I'm thinking about pushing it earlier by 1/2 hour, but I wish he would just stay asleep til 7:30am instead, and that would be perfect. I think he also might sleep in a little later in the morning when we move in October because his bedroom will be darker (back of building). 

 

DD is 8, and I think she actually doesn't need as much sleep as DS does, as long as she actually sleeps and doesn't stay up reading til wee hours. I've been getting her ready for bed at 8:30 and asleep by 9, which seems okay with her frequent 7am wakeup, at 10 hours a night, but I know she will sleep in more once she's not sharing a room with her brother in October. When she was the only one in the kid bedroom and DS was cosleeping, she used to sleep 9pm to 9am. Then again, that was 3 years ago when she was 5. 

 

Half hour more for each kid, so 10.5 and 11.5, seems to be an ideal amount for my kids, but I just can't see making bedtime any earlier for now while it's light so late. I do think I'm going to have DH take DD to her ballet class that ends at 7 so that I can be home with DS and put him to bed at 7:30 or 8pm. The rest of our evenings the kids and I can be home by 6, which should help. DH will have to either hurry home earlier or do more breakfast and weekend quality time. 


Edited by LitMom - 8/10/12 at 2:33pm
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica1501 View Post

I wonder if you have to work full time so your kids get home around 6pm, then they go to bed at 7 or 8pm, how do you guys have family time? Within 2 hours, they have to have dinner, bedtime routines, so basically they have only 1 hour to talk or play at home.

 

This is my biggest complaint on full day school (last year was our first year of all day 1st grade). There was simply not enough time as a family after we all work/school and eating/basic hygiene.  But, for our family and having kids that really need a good amount of sleep, the  behaviors that pop out when they do not sleep enough are not worth  a later bedtime.

 

I always feel shorted on time. DH even more so since at times he often does not get home until the girls are IN bed.

 

As many nights a week as we can, we eat dinner together, do homework with the girls, read together, and maybe play a game. We make the time we have count as best we can and then try to make weekends all about family. 

 

I work part-time, but DH works full-time + .

 

I cant help with the shy concern, neither of my DDs are shy at all. I do know my girls handle school, new situations, and life in general much better on a full nights sleep (as do I!). We talk in the car, at dinner, before bed. I usually let them play for a bit when they get home before dinner to decompress and just relax.

post #28 of 47

echoing that our son is more outgoing when a little sleep deprived.  Other people think it is cute, but we are in for a melt down when we get home.

 

With my experience,  kids who come to our house are from very poor backgrounds and are often delayed in maturity.  I think their brains/bodies use the extra sleep time to play developmental catch-up, and our son has a very difficult temperament.  He just isn't an easy kid at all.  (I know all kids have their 'things'  many parents who deal with our son agree that he is intensely charming and sweet, but also... not easy.)

Jessica, if your daughter is doing well on the amount of sleep she is going with now, I wouldn't worry about it!  It seems to me that research shows that kids need lots of sleep, but at the same time there are always outliers.  I have a great friend who's son totally stopped napping at 2 and wakes up to play through the night -he's 4 now.  (She has gotten up in the AM to find pillow forts in the living room.  They finally made a rule that if he gets up, he needs to stay in his room to play.)  He does fine during the day;  outgoing, fun, able to learn... even our own son, though he goes to bed at 7:30, some nights he quietly plays in bed till around 9.  Doesn't seem to bother him.

IF you think she needs more sleep, what about picking specific nights that are 'family nights' where the family stays up a little ater and does things together, like play games, watch movies, whatever.  In our house, they would need to be calm things we can do in jammies, but you know your house.   Then she can get more sleep other nights, but has that special time to look forward to.  OR draw out bedtime for that together time;  have some snuggly talking time in bed.

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boot View Post

 

Do you think she gets enough sleep? That's less than 8 hours. I don't mean this snarkily, it's a genuine question.

no she doesnt on some nights. she does overall require less sleep.

 

but it doesnt matter when i send her to bed. she CANT fall asleep till 10 pm. unless suddenly on saturday she will sleep most of the day away - catching up on sleep.

 

i wish there was later school. she would do GREAT going to school say at noon rather than at 8 am.

 

left to her biological clock - she gets enough sleep. so holidays are great. trying to set her on a structure, its almost impossible for her to get enough sleep.

 

that is one reason we dont do a lot of structured activiites. she likes her free time to do what she wants. starting 5th grade she needs to 'do' her stuff. after homework and relaxing it doesnt leave her much time.

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jes h View Post

  kids who come to our house are from very poor backgrounds and are often delayed in maturity.  I think their brains/bodies use the extra sleep time to play developmental catch-up

 

I really don't think being poor has anything to do with it. Most children will naturally take ten hours or so of sleep a night and most children desperately need it. We have lived in a few different very bad neighborhoods where everyone is poor and those kids go to bed late. Really late. They're up playing outside in a dangerous neighborhood till well after dark and not one of them got enough sleep in my opinion. My kids were always the freaks going to bed at 8. I have known quite a few kids like your son. They are wired differently to where it's difficult for them to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. It is challenging for the parents for sure. All my kids were like that to an extent. I HAD to lay them on their bellies and lay heavy blankets over them for them to sleep at all when they' were babies and they still take a while to fall asleep. But I don't think you can say it's so simple as kids who are delayed in maturity need more sleep and vice-versa.

post #31 of 47

After reading all the posts, I think that if you visited Europe, you'd be surprised to see kids in the park at 10pm during summer holidays :)

 

My daughter gave up napping when she was about 3.6 yr. She tried a few different schedules but what she has been doing since she was 4, she goes to bed at about 8:30 (and fall asleep at about 9:00) and wakes up at 7am -this is during preschool/kindergarten. During holidays she can stay up late (up to midnight but this is rare) and wakes up between 8:30-10:00. She doesn't nap during the day and this works well for her and us. 

post #32 of 47
Quote:
 

 

 

Somehow for working parents and/or kids that are required to be somewhere by 9 am, this would not work well.

 

I am always surprised at the amount of kids that stay up late during summer--- many kiddos I know have to be up for camp/childcare/etc because parents are awake/working by 8/9 am. But, yes in the summer I often see kids in the common area of our townhome until 9/10 pm. I cant imagine them getting up at 6/7 am!

 

Even when Dh is on vacation (or I am not working), we keep roughly the same schedule. It makes for crabby kids to stay up for a few days and then switch back to early wake-ups. DH works 40+ hours and I work part time.

post #33 of 47

KC i work from home so i dont have to be anywhere.

 

our summer schedule is way off. dd goes to bed around midnight to 3 am and gets up anytime between 11 and 2 pm. if there is a great book she wakes up earlier. 

 

the thing is that is dd's natural rhythm that we have to constantly change when school is out. 

 

when she had to do camp we went back to our old routine. 

 

she is such a relaxed happy different child during summer that i just cannot keep to her early routine. plus the neighborhood kids are out late so dd is out late too. 

 

and because i am home, i can do this. 

 

we are the type of family where it would suit us better if school started at noon. in fact there are many countries which actually have school starting that late. 

post #34 of 47

Meemee, my kids wouldn't usually stay up til 3am (for sleepovers or other special occasions—no prob), but would usually go to sleep around 11pm or midnight. That's their natural rhythm, too. They're not super early risers, but often get up around 8 or 9. Maybe sleep in until 9:30, but rarely later than that. 

 

I've often thought we were on more of a European schedule. We eat late, too. They don't want breakfast when they first get up so we often don't eat brunch until 11am and then maybe have lunch at 3 and then supper around 8 or 9. That's our natural rhythm. It is an adjustment for school. I don't know why it seems like society looks down on night owls. Many people (including me at times) are often at their most productive in the evening or even overnight hours. I guess it's ol' Ben Franklin's fault with that whole "early to bed, early to rise" saw.

post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

KC i work from home so i dont have to be anywhere.

 

our summer schedule is way off. dd goes to bed around midnight to 3 am and gets up anytime between 11 and 2 pm. if there is a great book she wakes up earlier. 

 

the thing is that is dd's natural rhythm that we have to constantly change when school is out. 

 

 

we are the type of family where it would suit us better if school started at noon. in fact there are many countries which actually have school starting that late. 

 

 

That makes more sense. Around here- few parents work from home. It is a suburb and a large commute-to-work area. I often wonder if the kiddos I see outside at 10pm that also go off to camp for the day in the morning get enough sleep.

 

It is hard to fight natural rhythms....one of my DDs is the opposite. She would get up at 5am if we let her and frequently asks when bedtime is on a day that is busy.

 

We purposely chose a school that started early (half Elem. school start one time other half start an hour later) for that DD. She does so much better in the morning. Other DD is a morning person, but not to that extreme.

 

 

I have a hard time understanding why our High School start so early, when it is proven that teens have a 'later' biorhythm than everyone else. They would be best with a 10 am school start time, but around here it is 7:25!! 

 

Anyone know how the current 'school' schedule came about timewise?? Now I am curious...

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

 I guess it's ol' Ben Franklin's fault with that whole "early to bed, early to rise" saw.

Heehee! This made me laugh since it is pretty ingrained in American culture. I think we are one of the earliest 'eating/sleeping/start work' nations. A good friend went to France for a year and LOVED the more laid back atmosphere. Also the workday was broken into 3 am hours  (9-12) and then 4 pm hours (2:30-6:30). She adored it- then she ate a late lunch/dinner/etc. She said she never felt better rested since she could sleep in, but still had time to exercise & rest midday.

 

DH is a night owl and often rails that the work day does not suit his tendency to just get going as the day is winding down and everyone is leaving the office. He often will work from home in the evening since he is more productive then.

 

Me- I am a mid day person. I have a hard time getting things done before 9am or after 9pm!

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I have a hard time understanding why our High School start so early, when it is proven that teens have a 'later' biorhythm than everyone else. They would be best with a 10 am school start time, but around here it is 7:25!! 

 

They do have the schools set up in our area so that Elementary school starts earliest at 7:50, then middle at 8:20, and high school at 8:45. I just wish it was all another hour later. 

 

Love that France schedule. Sounds wonderful!

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

I have a hard time understanding why our High School start so early, when it is proven that teens have a 'later' biorhythm than everyone else. They would be best with a 10 am school start time, but around here it is 7:25!! 

 

Anyone know how the current 'school' schedule came about timewise?? Now I am curious...

ugh!!! high school here starts the same time as yours. if dd wants to still do her favourite elective she has to be in school by 6:40!!!! i am grateful for the opportunity, but come on. 

 

current school schedule i believe are from the english factory school days. i have noticed here over the years that no matter where one is from elem. school usually starts around 8 am. whereever there are later times i have found in my experience they are the mother language schools in foreign countries. in the commonwealth - english based schools all start around 8 am. 

 

and i believe even today the factory system is still highly encouraged. 

post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I have a hard time understanding why our High School start so early, when it is proven that teens have a 'later' biorhythm than everyone else. They would be best with a 10 am school start time, but around here it is 7:25!! 

 

Anyone know how the current 'school' schedule came about timewise?? Now I am curious...

 

 

 

That seems so early. DD's high school starts at 8:50 am. and I think that's typical for most schools in the area. 

 

I wonder if it's a combination of a majority of 2 income families and the organization of  junior and senior students for the school bus schedule. In our system, to maximize use of the buses, each bus runs 2 routes in the morning and afternoon. There is an "early" route for schools that start around 8 am and end after 2 pm. The schools on the "late" route start around 9:30 am and end after 3:30 p.m. It means the system needs fewer buses overall but serves a fairly large number of students.

 

If your high school students start at 7:25, I'm guessing they are done at 1:25 pm. It's not a big deal if a teen is out of school in the mid-afternoon since they don't need babysitting. However, if there are mostly 2 WOHM parents in the families in your area, it would be very inconvenient for parents if their small children were all done school just after lunch. 

post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

If your high school students start at 7:25, I'm guessing they are done at 1:25 pm.

 

Are you talking about year round schools? I know for me high school was 7:45-2:45. For my son it is 8-3. It does seem a bit much to me. There are no minimum days at all.

post #40 of 47

My kids are about the same ages - DS is 9, DD is 6. 

 

Bedtime during the school year is between 7-8pm for both of them, and not later than 8pm in the summer.  DS rises at 6am (sometimes earlier in the summer when it is lighter earlier) and can very rarely sleep beyond that no matter how late he goes to bed, so we keep a very tight bedtime with him.  He needs that amount of sleep and things go downhill quickly if he doesn't get it, even for one night.

 

DD is much easier going about sleep.  And she will still nap on occasion in the car. We do her bedtime routine at the same time as DS, but she is allowed to do quiet activities in her room after 8pm.  She will read, draw or play quietly, and falls asleep on her own usually by 8:30 or 9pm.  She usually sleeps until 7am, sometimes as late as 8am in the summer or on school year weekends.

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