Sleep expert reveals exact time children should go to bed

8 March 2023, 16:03

An expert has revealed when your child should go to bed
An expert has revealed when your child should go to bed. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

The exact time your child should go to sleep has been revealed by an expert.

Trying to get your kids to sleep is one of the toughest jobs for any parent, but now an expert has revealed what time they should be heading to bed.

Speaking to The Mirror, Jennifer Robinson, who goes by the name The Happy Sleep Coach, revealed her seven to seven technique.

"So a 7pm bedtime and a 7am wake up is what we would aim for,” she said.

Jennifer added: "If you find your child is waking before six or seven o'clock in the morning then we would bring the bedtime forward to counteract that.

An expert has revealed how long children should sleep
An expert has revealed how long children should sleep. Picture: Getty Images

"We generally say 12 hours awake and 12 hours asleep for a child who is nine months old and that carries on all the way until they are at least seven years old.

"Before nine months bedtimes can vary significantly as it would depend on the baby's daytime sleep and how late their last nap was."

The expert - who specialises in children from 18 months to seven years - went on to say children starting nursery and school can find it very stimulating so may need to have an earlier bedtime.

"A lot of children start dropping naps when they go to nursery at the age of three and we often start seeing night wakes or early rising at that point,” she said.

This is how long your children should be sleeping, according to an expert
This is how long your children should be sleeping, according to an expert. Picture: Getty Images

"The loss of the nap, coupled with the super stimulating environment they're in during the day, running around getting very tired, can see children getting themselves into an overtired cycle.”

Jennifer suggests in this scenario you might try bringing the bedtime forward to 6pm instead of 7pm.

According to the NHS, children need different levels of sleep depending on how old they are.

See the full list of suggested sleep times for children below:

  • Infants 4 to 12 months - 12 to 16 hours including naps
  • Children 1 to 2 years - 11 to 14 hours including naps
  • Children 3 to 5 years - 10 to 13 hours including naps
  • Children 6 to 12 years - 9 to 12 hours
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years - 8 to 10 hours