What Time Is Bed?

Updated on September 04, 2014
V.S. asks from Birdsboro, PA
23 answers

Just curious - bedtime for 12 year old who starts school at 7:30am. Aaaaaaaaaaand.... GO!

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So What Happened?

Nervy Girl kind of did what I do and came up with pretty much the same math, only I give her snooze time, so the alarm goes on initially at 5:45 but I go in and turn on the light at 6:00. I send her up to start winding down around 8 - takes her time getting ready for bed and reading. But I feel like it's so much earlier than everyone else! But even then, she's hard to get going in the morning - I'm trying to determine if we are that out of the norm - and she's not balking, but I hear friends talking about bed times and I always wonder how far out of the norm we are. I can't picture her going to bed much later. As it is, I can barely keep my eyes open - I get up by 5:15 to get coffee and get dressed before starting my day with her.

Laurie A. I couldn't agree more. It's moronic to have 11 and 12 year olds starting school at 7:30. Anyone, for that matter. When she was in kindergarten, she was up at the crack of dawn. it would have been easy to get her to school then, but elementary school starts at 9:00. Middle and high school, though start at 7:30, so, as a tween, it's pure torture to have her get up that early. And to get enough sleep, she has to get to bed very early, which her peers aren't doing. She's fine with it, but I'm just wondering why we're going to bed while it's still light and everyone's still out doing stuff!

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answers from Boston on

My daughter has been in charge of her own sleep schedule since she was 6. As long as she got up on time and wasn't rude from lack of sleep, and her grades stayed good, I let her go to bed when she wanted to. She usually had herself in bed by 9 or 10. By the time she was in high school, she cut that back to 8 or earlier. BUT... I drive a school bus, so we were up at 5am. I do have to say, that her being in charge of her own sleep schedule makes me feel better about her making it to her early morning classes on time now that she is in college. Since she never had to rely on me at home, it's not new to her now that she's gone. Granted this isn't for every kid, but it worked for mine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My kids are almost 15 and almost 12. They have always gone to bed on their own and gotten up on their own. I literally have never had to tell them to go to bed or get up in the morning. But I attribute that to the fact that I was told to never rock my baby to sleep and to put them to bed in their own cribs, and I did. So they have always been good about this on their own. So all that to say, my 12 yo has to leave for the bus at 7:45 so he goes to bed on his own anywhere between 9-9:45 and gets up at the latest 7:15. I think it depends on the kid and how much sleep they need, if they go to bed easily without a fight and get up easily without a fight. JMO. Good luck.

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answers from Portland on

Working backward:

Should arrive at school by 7:20 to put backpack away, use bathroom, situate self and be ready for instruction at 7:30.

Minus travel time (hypothetically, 20 minutes, so we're at leaving the house by seven.)

Minus at least an hour or so to get dressed, eat a good breakfast, and get ready to go. (so, we'd be up by six a.m.)

That would be the wake up time. Allow 9 hours for sleeping, knowing that they need time to wind down, and go back to that point. 9 o'clock. Adjust according to your needs. If your kid wants a shower in the morning, they might need to get up earlier if they aren't fast in the bathroom.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Danville on

As you may recall, I have a boatload of kiddos...all pretty close in age. I just came across a 'decorative chalk board' from some years ago that had the curfew times for the kiddos (then 18 down to 11) written on it!! lol

As I recollect (and I have no chalk board as a reminder), my 12 year old was able to stay up til 9:30 ish...his 11 yo brother was getting settled in bed around 9 ish (they shared a room).

Reading in bed WAS allowed (they had bunk beds, and each had a light that was small, and 'clamped' on the headboard).

The younger kiddos started different bed time 'rituals' (already bathed and ready for bed) around 8 PM.

Once ALL were settled in bed, I was ready for sleep!

Maybe I am off base...but THAT is what I recollect!


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answers from Dallas on

I went with nine. It may seem early to some but better than the morning fights.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My kids are in charge of their own bedtimes. When they were young, I was really strict with bedtime, but now that they're almost 17, almost 14 and almost 12, it's their responsibility. I've told them that as long as they can keep up their grades, not slack off in their chosen extra curricular activities, aren't rude and grumpy to people, aren't falling asleep from exhaustion during the day and are REASONABLE (you know, like NOT staying up 'til 1am), they can call their own shots. The younger two are in bed by 10:30 most nights and get up around 6:30. The older one goes to bed a bit later, 11 maybe, and also gets up around 6:15. It's still nowhere near enough sleep, but they're pre teen/teens and are simply not wired to fall asleep much earlier. They're all out of the house by 7:30am and they choose to get up at 6:30 instead of sleeping a bit longer.

Ideally, they'd all be in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10pm. But that's simply not realistic for them right now. If it's still under your control, maybe in bed by 9:00pm with lights out by 9:30, 9:45, allowing time to read, etc?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

it was about that age I let my kids decide their own bedtime. I was tired of fighting with them to get up in the morning so I gave them the responsibility. The deal was they chose when to go to bed, but they also had to wake themselves up. If I had to wake them up, I got to choose their bedtime.
When my son was still in school, he would roll out of bed as late as possible. My daughter varies when she gets up based on if she's doing her hair or throwing it in a pony or if she has choir or anything.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

gah! such an early start time!
i'd start the settle-down routine at 8 (screens off, bath, teeth etc) and be snuggled in reading to her by 8:30, with a plan for lights-out by 9.

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answers from Washington DC on

How many hours sleep, on average, did she need on summer vacation? I have an almost 12 year old that needs 9-10 solid sleep hours. He has lights out at about 9 and I wake him for his morning shower at about 6:50. He has to be at school a few minutes before 8 am.

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answers from Philadelphia on

We are in the same boat. Lights out by 8:30. I am up at 4:30 to shower before waking 14 year old at 5 and 12 year old at 530. Both snooze a bit before finally getting up but the entire system is backwards.

Check out a site/group called start school later


I completely agree the science shows this schedule is completely wrong for pre-teens and teens.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Why does school start at 7:30 am for 12 year olds? 6th grade? Too early in my opinion. Seems like torture for everyone.. But anyway..

First of all let me say, Our daughter never jumped out of bed ready to get the morning started, NEVER. Ha! Even to this day, it is not a pretty sight and she is 23.

Our daughter needed/still needs to be able to sleep 5 or 10 minutes longer. Her alarm and her phone are set up to allow this.

If your daughter is not balking, do not mess with it. Let her keep her schedule, also tell her, if she ever wants to go to bed earlier, she is welcome to do that. If she ever asks to stay up later, just remind her, yes, she may, BUT she will need to get up on time, or you will not allow it again for a long time.

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answers from San Francisco on

My 12 and 16 year old daughters both go to bed between 9 and 9:30. If they have a big homework project sometimes it's later. I wake them up at 6am and they actually get out of bed about 20 minutes later.

Mind you, this Mama gets up at 4:30am each day so I try to be in bed between 9 and 9:30 myself. In general, we are early up, early to bed kinds of people.

Weekends, of course, are a different story.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My 12 year old goes to bed at 10:00pm. He gets up at 8:00am when he starts school at 9:00am and days he has to go in early for 8:00am he gets up at 7:00am. I suppose if he started school at 7:30am each day he might go to bed a little earlier.

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answers from Jacksonville on

What times does 12 yr old get up in the morning?

Where we are, school starts at 8:00 a.m., but the morning bus picks up by 6:50 a.m. (or 6:15 a.m. if I let them get on at the designated stop and didn't drive them to the last one on the route).

Kids get up at 6:00 a.m. My daughter was 12 last year, and she normally was in bed by 10:00, maybe 10:30. If she was near 10:30 (or eeked over a smidge finishing a chapter or something) she was generally tired and grumpy the next morning. If she went to bed by 10:00 pm, she was slow but not grumpy or tired... just needed to fully get awake.

Does that help?

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answers from Philadelphia on

My 11 yo likes to be in bed around 9:00 to read and she is usually just drifting off to sleep at 10:30.

School hours are between 8:45 and 3:15 but the bus picks her up at 7:35 and drops her off at 4:21. Long, long day!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

My 11 yo catches his bus around that time.
He's in bed by 9:30 -10:00. Usually.

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answers from Muncie on

So, your child MUST be AT school at 7:30? Ouch! I send my 8 year old to the showers about 7:45p and to bed at 8:00p, she's up again about 7:00a and we're out the door at 8:00a.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd say 10pm.

Our kids go to bed at 9pm now and when they're older like yours I'd let them stay up until 10pm.

Right now they get up around 6:45 but can sleep until 7. They are up and moving and on the bus by 7:20.

They don't take showers or eat at home though. They also just get up, get dressed, and go to the bus. So it's not like they need to be up any earlier...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Lights out for my 7th grade 12 year old is 9:30. He wakes up at 6:15 and leaves the house to walk to school at 7:15. Class starts at 7:45.

Snooze-buttoning makes people feel more tired and groggy, as it screws up sleep patterns. Instead of waking her at 5:45 then letting her lay there, go in at 6 and turn the light on. If you enforce the 'up & moving' thing, she will have an easier time in the mornings after a couple weeks of shaking off the snooze habit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

For us elementary school started 7:30 but the bus picked him up at 7am.
He needed to wake up 1 hr before that - so 6am.
That meant he needed to be in bed light out at 9pm.
When he was in middle school we could push the whole thing later by 1 hour.
So he got up at 7am. bus picked him up at 8am and school began 8:30am.
Now he's in high school but he's bussed farther away due to STEM, so we're back to getting up around 6:15am, bus picks him up at 7:15am and school starts at 8:30am - he's got a longer bus ride but it has fewer than 10 people on it and he can sleep on the bus.
I'm hoping he can drive to school for his junior and senior years.
We TRY for a 9pm bedtime but it all depends on the homework and some nights he's up till 11pm getting it all done.
I really try hard to make sure he gets enough sleep and he usually does pretty well getting 8 or more hours per night (more on weekends).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My kids must need a lot of sleep! 10 & 12, bedtime at 8:30, up at 6:30, leave for school at 7:15. Of course that changes next week because they start cross-country - practice is at 6:15 am! I think we'll keep the 8:30 bedtime and see how they do, encouraging to see other kids that age getting 8-9 hours and doing well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

We wind down at 8, lights out at 8:30. I thought I would move it later as they got older but they really need that extra sleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We aim for lights out anytime between 8 and 9pm for my 11 and 9 year olds. We really would love for both of the kids to be asleep by 8pm, but we are still in summer mode. I agree that the start times for elementary and middle school should be swapped! I had no problem getting the kids to bed by 8pm and up by 6 when they were little.

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