How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

Parents often wonder if their kids are getting enough sleep. We all want our kids to be well-rested so they can be at their best in school and life. But sometimes it’s hard to know how much sleep our kids need.

The staff at Wilson Elementary School in Kenosha, WI decided to clear up any confusion about how much sleep kids need by creating and distributing this easy-to-use chart. Parents simply find their child’s age and wake-up time, and the chart provides the recommended bedtime where the two factors meet.

sleep chart

It’s been a year and a half since the chart first appeared on Facebook and it’s become a viral sensation that won’t die. Tons of parents have weighed in on the merits of this chart, and of course shared their kids’ sleep schedules.

There aren’t many things in parenting that are black and white. This chart is. If your  eight-year-old needs to be up at 7 a.m. he needs an 8:30 p.m. bedtime. That should mean the end to the question of how much sleep your kids need, right? Too bad actually following the chart is not as easy as reading it!

That much is very apparent from the 13,000+ comments on the original post. (When you have a chart that suggests a five-year-old’s bedtime be as early as 6:45 p.m., there’s going to be pushback). Most parents say they find these guidelines to be completely unrealistic. They cite after-school activities, homework, their work schedules, and evening family time as the biggest conflicts to the recommended bedtimes. Families who do adhere the chart are definitely in the vocal minority.

What do you think? Using this chart, do your kids get enough sleep? Are these guidelines realistic for your family?

About Katie Quirk Dunyon

I'm a married mom of two living in Seattle, WA. I have a seven-year-old little boy, a first grader! He's a fairly reserved kid and all about Legos and building sets. I also have a little girl who turned three at the end of February. She's a tiny thing but a big ham; we call her our clown. They're a lot of work but also a ton of fun. I love to eat, cook, and run (in that order). But at the end of the day, give me a spot on the couch and a little bit of TV or a good book, I'm done!
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