Back-to-school season is officially upon us. And while it’s important that moms and dads maintain a healthy sleep schedule (if at all possible), it’s even more dire that kids, no matter what age, get the right amount of rest before hitting the books.
That’s why the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, in partnership with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and other organizations like the CDC, created the Bedtime Calculator as part of their “Make Time 2 Sleep” campaign.
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Similar to the bedtime calculator we shared with you last year, this tool provides parents with the proper bedtime for their kids based on two factors: their age and when they’re getting up the next day. To see the results, just select the appropriate numbers using the two sliders — it’s that simple.
For instance, the average 5-year-old who gets up for Kindergarten at 7:00 a.m., would need to go the bed before 9:00 p.m.
Your 10-year-old would have to go to bed between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. if he or she woke up at 6:30 a.m. for school.
And for your 15-year-old teen waking up at 7:00 in the morning, they should be in bed between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. the night before (though with the workload these days, we all know that may not be realistic).
It’s important to note that the wake up times only go by increments of 30 minutes, but regardless, this calculator is seemingly accurate — results represent sleep durations recommended by the AASM. Try it out yourself!
Getting the right amount of sleep is pertinent to your kids’ ability to put his or her best foot forward, especially since the CDC found that only 17.7% of U.S. public middle schools and high schools start school at 8:30 a.m. or later.
“Back-to-school time provides families with a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate their sleeping habits and establish healthy routines to ensure sufficient sleep,” said AASM President Dr. Ilene Rosen in a press release. “No matter the age, children and adults report improved alertness, energy, mood and physical well-being when enjoying healthy, consistent sleep.”
The time is now: Start off the new school year strong and establish a routine you and your kids — big or small — are comfortable with. We promise you’ll be happy you did.