What time should 12 year olds go to bed? There is no straightforward answer to this question, as every 12 year old is different. However, we can begin by considering how much sleep your child needs, and compare this to the time that they wake up.
In this article, we’ll explore 12 year old bedtimes in more detail, including looking into how much sleep a 12 year old needs and how you can increase your child’s sleep quality.
How Much Sleep Does A 12 Year Old Need?
Before you can decide what time your 12 year old should go to bed, it’s important to consider how much sleep their body needs to operate effectively.
The NHS recommends that children aged 6 to 12 years of age require between 9 and 12 hours of sleep each night. When your child reaches 13, their sleep requirement reduces to between 8 and 10 hours per night.
From this, you can work out what time your 12 year old needs to go to bed each night to achieve their nightly sleep requirements. If they need to wake up at 7am for school, they will need to go to bed between 7pm and 10pm, depending on their individual sleep needs.
Though this will vary between individuals, an average 12 year old going to bed at 9pm is a good starting point for parents.
How To Help Your 12 Year Old To Fall Asleep
Now that you know when to aim for your 12 year old to go to bed, you can begin thinking about how they can prepare themselves for sleep. While on the surface this may seem like an easy task, it is often more difficult than it seems.
You may be able to ‘set’ your child’s bedtime, but you also need to consider the time they are first exposed to artificial light. This could be from mobile phones and tablets before they go to sleep; it could be from a television screen in the corner of their room; or simply by having a bedroom that is not completely dark.
Research has shown that exposure to blue light stimulates the brain and disrupts melatonin production, which can lead to difficulty sleeping. An easy solution for this is to ensure that your child’s bedroom is as dark as possible during sleep time; using heavy curtains or blackout blinds can be particularly useful here.
A Blue Light Filter For Your Child’s Phone Or Tablet
One of the most useful and straightforward ways for your child to reduce their exposure to blue light is by using a blue light filter. This can be installed on your child’s phone or tablet, and will change the screen colour from blue – which stimulates wakefulness – to yellow, which does not.
This is a relatively easy and affordable addition, and there are many blue light filter apps that can be downloaded for free. It’s an especially useful tool if your child uses the internet or watches television before they go to sleep!
How Do I Improve My Child’s Sleep Quality?
Improving your child’s sleep quality can be difficult, particularly if they suffer from sleeping disorders such as insomnia. However, there are a number of simple things that you can do to improve the quality of your child’s sleep.
Firstly, consider how much light your child is exposed to during the day. Children who are exposed to a lot of bright, natural daylight tend to find it easier to fall asleep at night, as their bodies have a clear distinction between day and night.
You should also be wary of exposure to bright lights in the hours before bed. Tablets, computers and smartphones all emit a lot of blue light that tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. This means artificial lighting can significantly reduce your child’s sleep quality if they are exposed to it too close to their bedtime.
Finally, consider how much physical activity your child does during the day. Exercise reduces stress, and it also encourages your body to produce melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.
Regular exercise will encourage your child to sleep better at night, so make sure they do some form of physical activity every day. This could be sports or other hobbies such as cycling and skating. If your child does little physical activity every day, it will be harder for them to sleep.
Is It Normal For A 12 Year Old To Be Tired All The Time?
While it may be normal for your 12 year old to have a relatively busy schedule, it’s important that they are still able to balance their different activities with adequate rest.
If you notice that your child is excessively tired every day, regardless of how much sleep they had the night before, they may not be getting enough rest. You should encourage your child to slow down and take it easy for a few days. If you notice that they are still excessively tired, it may be time to see a doctor to establish if there is an underlying problem such as a vitamin deficiency, insomnia or a thyroid issue.
What Time Should A 12 Year Old Wake Up?
The time that your 12 year old wakes up is likely to be determined by what time they need to be at school. It’s natural for your 12 year old to wake up later at a weekend or during the holidays, as they may be catching up on sleep after a long day at school.
You should encourage your child to wake up at a similar time every day, as this will help their body establish a regular rhythm. If you notice that your child is waking up much earlier than usual, it may be because they are not getting enough sleep or they could be suffering from insomnia. Either way, you should ensure that your 12 year old gets enough rest every night, as this will make it easier for them to wake up at the right time.
Why Do Teenagers Stay Up Late?
One of the main reasons why teenagers like to stay up late is because their friends do the same thing. This means that they can talk to each other online or even in person, which then keeps them up late talking.
Another reason why teenagers stay up late is because they are trying to cram as much activity into their week as possible. This can be due to peer pressure, or simply because they want to fulfil their ambitions and succeed.
Finally, many teenagers have demanding schedules at school or in their social lives, which they want to fit in around the time they spend sleeping.
Children, even 12 year olds, need to ensure that they are getting enough sleep in order to function properly throughout the day.
So, what time should 12 year olds go to bed to ensure they get enough rest? It’s recommended that 12 year olds get at least 9 hours sleep per night, so the latest they should go to bed is 10pm, assuming they wake up at 7am for school.
If your child seems overly tired in the daytime, it might be time to suggest an earlier bedtime, to make sure they are getting enough rest.