Parents Are Using This Viral Sleep Chart To Figure Out The Best Time To Put Their Kids To Bed


Sleep is one of the most important things for our bodies, along with food, water, and exercise. It's especially important for kids because it helps promote growth and development, and can help support healthy brain function and emotional well-being, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (NIH).  Without enough sleep, kids may have lower energy levels, difficulty concentrating, as well as issues with weight gain.

For these reasons, it's imperative kids get enough shuteye. But many parents have a hard time figuring out exactly when to turn the lights out for their child, as bedtime recommendations vary by age and wake-up time.  

Thankfully, there's a quick and easy chart to reference to figure out exactly when kids should be going to sleep. The chart, from Wilson Elementary school, breaks down exactly what time kids should be going to bed based on their age and time they wake up. It was originally posted on on Facebook August 2015 by Stacy Karlsen, an educator from the Kenosha, WI school, but is continuing to make the rounds on the Internet today. 

Good Housekeeping reports that Karlsen posted the sleep chart because she thought it would be helpful to the parents who have kids at her school. She didn't expect the chart to go viral, but as of June 2017, it has been shared over 434,000 times, with people commenting on it from all over the world, from France to Iraq.


While the chart has been the subject of some criticism because of the regimented times, the varying bedtimes based on ages can be beneficial. The National Sleep Foundation posted their own sleep chart showing toddlers (ages 1 to 2) should get 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day, preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) should get 10 to 13 hours per night, while school-aged children (ages 6 to 13) should get 9 to 11 hours.

The National Sleep Foundation's chart also provides a range of what still could be considered an appropriate amount of sleep time, and stipulates how much sleep is too little and how much is too much, depending on the child's age. For example, it's recommended that kids aged 3 to 5 get 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night, but that the age group should not get less than 8 hours or more than 14.

The NIH and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support similar data from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

The AASM sleep chart also indicates differing bedtimes for different ages.

Of course knowing what time kids should go to bed and actually getting them to go to sleep are two different things. To help kids get ready, recommends following the four B's: bathing, brushing (teeth or gums), books, and bedtime. Adhering to the four B's will help kids create a good sleeping routine and help calm them down so they can catch those necessary zzz's. 

Cover image via Shutterstock I Smolina Marianna



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