During the holidays, we often let children stay up later. However when they go back to school it is better if they fall into a normal routine. Children need a set amount of sleep each night. So what is the ideal bedtime for children?
Have a fixed bedtime each night and children will perform better at school
In 2013, a study carried out by the University College of London showed that children aged seven years old that went to bed early and at a fixed time every day achieved better results in reading and math tests.
Before going back to school after the holidays, i.e. few days before the start of term, it is better to progressively alter the bedtime so as to fit the normal school routine.
It is best for children of nursery age to go to bed at 8 o’clock or 8 thirty at the very latest. However if they want to go to bed earlier it is important to respect their needs. If you keep them awake against their will, they risk not getting enough sleep which will make them tired at school.
After nursery age
For children to have enough energy to concentrate at school, they must sleep for at least ten hours per night. As for younger children it is important to listen to their needs which can differ from one child to the next.
If the child finds it difficult to fall asleep or they don’t want to go to bed at night, prevent your child from using a screen at least one or two hours before bedtime. This includes video games, smartphone games or games on the tablet, watching films etc. The light which is emitted from screen has a negative effect on falling asleep. Today, children of primary school age sleep one hour less than their parents used to at the same age.
Before going to bed you should encourage a creative activity like music, art, drama or reading.