As school begins, I have a message from all teachers—“Help your child get the sleep they need to succeed in school!” Many children are falling asleep sitting in their chairs.

Summer is a time when sleep cycles shift and schedules are more relaxed. As school starts, regular bedtimes need to begin again to ensure that your child is in a position to learn and succeed.

Children less than one year old should sleep 12-16 hours a day (including naps).

Children 1-3 should sleep 11-14 hours a day including naps.

Children ages 3-5 should sleep 10 to13 hours a day.

Children ages 6-12 should sleep 9 to 12 hours a day.

Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep a day.

Many families of young children need to re-think their bedtime routine. Letting your young child stay up late because they cry when put to bed is not being “nice”. Late bedtimes are frequently just easier for the parents. But if your child is tired at school he’s the one that suffers.

Bedtime, including a bath, should take about an hour and should include a book read. After that your child should be comfortable in their room without any electronics except a lamp.

I officially went “off duty” at 9 p.m. My children knew that if they were bothering me after that they should be bleeding or barfing. That rule is still one of our family’s favorite jokes.



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