Jodi - posted on 09/23/2014
It really depends on what time they have to be awake in the morning. However, my 9 year old goes to bed at 8:30 and is up at 7 in the morning. At this age, they actually need 10-12 hours sleep a night depending on the individual child (not the 9-10 hours as stated by the previous poster), and this is in ADDITION to allowing time to wind down.
Guest - posted on 09/23/2014
Allowing their minds to wander before sleep is actually a very healthy part of the sleep cycle. May I ask why you wish to eliminate that portion of their sleep regimen?
My son is 9 years old. On weeknights, his bed time is 9pm, with reading in bed until 9:30 if he wants to read (he usually does). On weekends, he has the option to stay up until 9:30, but no reading in bed. If he wants to read in bed, he has to be in bed by 9 and can read as long as he likes, but he doesn't usually make it past 9:30.
They need to be going to bed early enough to have at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep time. By sleep time, I don't mean actually asleep, but in bed and without other obligations. Some of that time will be spent awake--switching between sleep cycles, or drifting in and out of sleep--but they need time for those things in order to have a quality sleep. It doesn't matter how much time you spend asleep if the quality of the sleep is not good.
TV, Computer screens, and video games stimulate areas of the brain that make it more difficult for us to fall asleep. There is a ton of research out there on this topic if you'd like to explore in more detail why it keeps us awake, but it is too complicated to go into here. If you want them to sleep quicker or sooner, turn off TV's, Computers, and video games (including phones and tablets) at least 2 hours before bedtime. They will still need a few minutes to fall asleep, but not as long. Reading also helps induce sleep, but colorfully illustrated books do not have as great effect as just print, or books with more muted illustrations. Some people can fall asleep very quickly, most people take between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep, and some people (like me) need at least an hour or more of laying in bed in a dark or dim room without any mental stimulation
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