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When is bedtime?

February 18, 2008

by Jen Bakken

When is bedtime? There’s an ongoing disagreement in my home. Each night bedtime rolls around and the argument begins.

“It’s not fair, my bedtime is too early,” my ten year old insists. “All my friends go to bed later than me.”

I wonder if students in elementary school really discuss what time their parents put them to bed.

Are those students, who say their bedtime is 9:30 or 10 p.m., telling the truth?

Do some parents really allow their children to watch TV until they fall asleep, even if that’s at midnight?

I have a hard time believing that I’m the only mom who says 8 p.m. is when it’s time to hit the hay.

Of course later nights happen, once in awhile, but otherwise I’m pretty strict about what time my children go to bed.

When lights go out at a later time, my children are difficult to wake up in the morning, and seem to get up on the wrong side of the bed.

According to kidshealth.org, children ages six to twelve years old need about nine to 10 hours of sleep at night.

They say that a lack of sleep for kids can cause irritable or hyper types of behavior and can aggravate conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

If kids do not get enough sleep it can interfere with their ability to function in school also.

Of course, with as busy as families are these days with work, after school activities, and sports – setting a bedtime can be difficult.

While I may put my younger children to bed at 8 p.m., I know that it takes them awhile to calm themselves and actually fall asleep.

Though they are in bed at that time, it may be 8:30 or 9 p.m. before they enter dreamland.

I know I’m not the only parent who has announced, “its bedtime” and heard a whiney, “I don’t want to go to bed.”

But should I believe what my children tell me?

Am I really the only parent in all of Delano who says it’s bedtime at 8 p.m?