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 itâ€™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 childâ€™s age and wake-up time, and the chart provides the recommended bedtime where the two factors meet.
Itâ€™s been a year and a half since the chart first appeared on Facebook and itâ€™s become a viral sensation that wonâ€™t die. Tons of parents have weighed in on the merits of this chart, and of course shared their kidsâ€™ sleep schedules.
There arenâ€™t many things in parenting that are black and white. This chart is. If your Â eight-year-old needs to be up at 7 a.m. he needs an 8:30 p.m. bedtime.Â That shouldÂ mean the endÂ to the question of how muchÂ sleep your kids need, right?Â Too bad actuallyÂ 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-oldâ€™s bedtime be as early as 6:45 p.m., thereâ€™s going to be pushback). Most parents say they find these guidelines to be completely unrealistic. TheyÂ cite after-school activities, homework, their work schedules, and evening family time asÂ the biggestÂ 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?
Katie Quirk Dunyon is a mom of two, a boy and a girl. She lives and writes in Seattle, WA.