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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mad Bedtime Dash

Quite often we make a mad homework dash because we want the kids to have enough hours of sleep each day. When they don't have enough sleep, they get fretful and irritable and tend to fall sick easily. So in our quest to make sure the kids have enough sleep, we rush them to complete their homework, preferably before dinner time which is at 7pm.

After dinner, it's getting ready for bedtime, and that means washing up, brushing teeth, changing into pyjamas, then light reading for about 15 minutes before lights off at 8.30pm. That is our ideal situation or the situation in which we hope to have. In order to achieve that, we make our mad homework dash.

Sometimes the mad homework dash continues after dinner and homework gets completed at 9pm, that's when the bedtime dash gets crazier and lights get turned off immediately after teeth brushing and changing into night clothes. No winding down.

The kids are usually asleep by 9pm, the very latest is 10pm but usually 9pm or even before that at times. They get up at 5.45am or 6pm the latest. 9pm to 6pm is 9 hours of sleep each night. They no longer have afternoon naps.

How many hours of sleep do children need? Well according to this article on Child Sleep - Recommended hours for every age , my children who are in the age bracket between 7 to 12 years old, should be getting about 10 to 11 hours of sleep each day. They are only having 9 hours each day and we are unable to make it possible for them to have more hours than that each day. I know if we can find the time for them, they will easily be able to sleep another 1 hour or two but we can't, we just can't with their workload.....

We try to catch up during the weekend by allowing them to get up later. They usually get up at 8 or 9pm during the weekends but they would have to go to bed at the same time in order to get more sleep. However there is this tendency to allow them to stay up later as well so in the end, the still only get about 9 hours of sleep during the weekends.

Changing the bedtimes from 10-11pm till 8-9am during the weekends is a bad practice but we still do it. I wonder how do other parents manage in the area of sleep. Care to share?


  1. Gosh! Not only homework, sleep aslo got problem! When I was small, I was trained by my parents to sleep at 9pm! SHARP! Hehehe! We dont take afternoon nap, and sometimes tuition from 6 to 9 pm 3 times a week.

    I think I am going to implement this to my girl who is going to primary next year. Now, she is sleeping around 10 -11pm and woke up around 7am every morning.

    1. Rose, my kids don't take tuition. Last year my girl did attend the Chinese tuition from her school. It is once a week but I find that the struggle to complete her homework is even worse on the tuition day so being unable to cope we decided to pull her out in the last term last year. I wonder how other parents with a host of activities and 3 times a week tuition as you mention cope.

  2. I'm not the best person to ask. The fact that you can make them sleep by 8.30pm is already an amazing feat! Even now I'm finding it hard to make my children sleep by 9pm although they are not in primary school yet. And they wake up around 6.30am!

    1. Carolyn, Its ok. Once they go to school they will automatically adjust since they have to wake up earlier, they will be tired and fall asleep easily earlier too. My kids used to go to bed around 10-11pm when they were in kindy too but they made up for that with a 2 hour nap during the day.

  3. Wow....my son sleeps at 10.30 - 11 pm and sometimes wakes up at 6.45 am. On weekends they seem to want to make the best of the weekend and sleep even lessor hours. As of now, I froce them to take naps. But with school, if morning, can force them to take naps too?


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