Dr. Alan Greene on Setting a Sleep Routine

Should we get into a routine after a break from school?


How important is it to get back into a bedtime routine following a break from school?


Children of different ages need different amounts of sleep and tend to sleep best at different times. Kids starting kindergarten usually need about 11 hours of total sleep to learn the best, grow the tallest, prevent the most infections, and heal the most quickly.

Kids need slightly less sleep each year. By around age 9 they do best with about 10 hours total. When puberty kicks in, the body's internal clock shifts so that the natural time for falling asleep and waking up is much later. At the same time, most schools start the school day earlier for older kids. Often teenagers cannot fall asleep early enough to get the sleep they need and they go through their days feeling exhausted and cranky. This lack of sleep combined with the effects of raging hormones makes it easy to see why teens and parents often clash!

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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