Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Make Time 2 Sleep

Waking up to healthy sleep

Along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, sleep is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Getting the sleep that your body needs is essential for your health and well-being. To get good sleep, you need a good bedtime.

A consistent, nightly bedtime helps keep your body on schedule. You should go to bed early enough to get the sleep that your body needs each night. Remember: Adults need a bedtime too!

Bedtime Calculator

Children, teens and adults can use this calculator to identify an appropriate bedtime. Simply select your age and choose your wake time to see the results. You also can use the slider to see how a change in your wake time affects your bedtime.

Select Your Age

Choose Your Wake Time

The Bedtime Calculator is based on the sleep duration recommendations of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for children and adults. To promote optimal health, the AASM recommends getting the following amounts of sleep on a regular basis:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months old: 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
  • Children 1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
  • Children 3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
  • Children 6 to 12 years old: 9 to 12 hours
  • Teens 13 to 18 years old: 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults:  7 hours or more

Bedtime Routine

In addition to having an appropriate bedtime, you also should develop a relaxing, consistent bedtime routine. Allow at least 30 minutes to give your mind time to wind down after a busy day. A bedtime routine also helps get your body ready to fall asleep. Here are some options to consider as you develop your own bedtime routine:

Tips for Parents of Infants

  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Follow the bath with a gentle massage.
  • Briefly cuddle or sing a lullaby.
  • Turn the lights out at bedtime.

Tips for Children

  • Shut off all electronic devices 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Take a warm bath and brush teeth.
  • Read a book or sing a song.
  • Turn the lights out at bedtime.

Tips for Teens & Adults

  • Shut off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Take a warm shower or bath and brush teeth.
  • Read a book or write in a journal.
  • Turn the lights out at bedtime.
Get more tips on how to develop healthy sleep habits. Talk to a doctor if you often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor may refer you to an accredited sleep center for help.

High School Start Times

Many teens are unable to #MakeTime2Sleep because school starts too early. During adolescence a natural shift occurs in the timing of the body’s internal circadian clock. As a result most teens tend to have a biological preference for a late-night bedtime and later wake time. Early school start times require teens to adhere to an early bedtime that may be unrealistic for their age. This is one reason why many teens fail to get enough sleep during the school week.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that the school day should begin at 8:30 a.m. or later for middle school and high school students. Download this template letter and urge your local school board and policy makers to adopt a school start time of 8:30 a.m. or later for middle schools and high schools in your district.

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Bedtime research

Enforcing rules about a child's bedtime helps the child get the recommended amount of nightly sleep.

Source: Do parents’ support behaviours predict whether or not their children get sufficient sleep? A cross-sectional study

A late bedtime after 9 p.m. was associated with longer sleep onset latency and shorter total sleep time.

Source: Developmental aspects of sleep hygiene: findings from the 2004 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll

A simple bedtime routine improves the sleep of infants and young children.

A nightly bedtime routine: impact on sleep in young children and maternal mood

Young children who have a consistent bedtime routine have earlier bedtimes, take less time to fall asleep, have reduced night wakings, and sleep longer.

Bedtime routines for young children: a dose-dependent association with sleep outcomes

Consistent bedtimes are independently associated with higher cognitive test scores in young children.

Time for bed: associations with cognitive performance in 7-year-old children: a longitudinal population-based study

Regular use of language-based bedtime routines including singing, reading, and/or story-telling at bedtime may have a lasting positive benefit for children's sleep duration and cognitive development.

A longitudinal study of preschoolers' language-based bedtime routines, sleep duration, and wellbeing

Preschool-aged children with early weekday bedtimes were less likely than children with late bedtimes to be obese when they became teens.

Source: Bedtime in preschool-aged children and risk for adolescent obesity