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What time should an 11-year-old go to bed?

I'd love to know if there's a 'sweet spot' most people agree on...

Holly Seddon admin
Holly Seddon
Editor-in-chief of
Kent, UK

2 experts and 3 parents have answered

expert answer
Lorraine Allman expert
Lorraine Allman Author, Businesswoman, Mum GB
Careers expert

I think if you surveyed 100 parents with this question you'd probably get 100 different answers!

Perhaps a more helpful question to answer might be 'How much sleep should my 11 year old get each night?', though I suspect even that will produce varying results, however most medical experts seem to think that between 9.5-10.5 hours sleep should be efficient for the 'average' 7-12 year old and 8.5-9.5 hours per night for the 'average' 12-18 year old.

Depending on what time your child usually wakes (or has to be woken for school) in the morning then work backwards from that i.e. my son normally wakes at 7.30am so generally I try to ensure he's in bed by 8.30pm ready to get some sleep around a few chapters/half hour later. That's the theory anyhow! There are always going to be situations which result in a late night every now and then, the main thing as Gregor says is to avoid chopping and changing and try to stick to a regularly agreed bedtime which ensures they're able to get sufficient sleep withing the above parameters.

2 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Holly Seddon admin
Holly Seddon Editor-in-chief of Kent, UK

Okay, I'll answer my own question and throw my hat in the ring! My 11-year-old goes to bed somewhere between 8.30 and 9 most nights. Occasionally - very occasionally - we let her stay up until about 9.30 at weekends. The same is true of her brothers (10 and 5), The truth is, although she goes to bed earlier than most of her friends, she's up at 6.20am and she is a waking nightmare if she goes to bed late!

2 Reply Share:
Experience 3 years ago
Jeff Scolnick
Jeff Scolnick Dad of 6 Natick, US

8:30 PM

that means get in bed and can read until they fall asleep or for an hour or so.

it all depends on how tired they are in the morning. keep moving bedtime up earlier every week until the morning goes smoother and they wake up on their own.

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Gregor Gross
Gregor Gross serial entrepreneur from Berlin Berlin, Germany

There is research that suggests you get better grades if you go to bed early and have a full night's sleep. My 11 year old reads a lot, most nights until 10pm. Grades are OK, but we feel 10 pm is too late... but discussing it every other night is also not great.

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
Magda de Lange expert
Magda de Lange Global Learning Professional ZA
Education expert

My 11 year old also goes to bed between 8:30 - 9:00. Ideally 8:30 so that he can also have time to read. He is up by 6:30 every day. My 13 year old goes to bed at the same time but reads until 9:30-10:00 and would sleep until 10:00 - 11:00 if not woken up. People have such different sleeping patterns and needs. The younger one has always needed 1-3 hours less sleep than the older one! In Malaysia as well as the UAE it was completely acceptable to see babies and young children out and about with their parents until midnight - even during the week! In fact my then 12 year old had ballet lessons until almost 10:00 on a Tuesday night in Malaysia!

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Opinion 3 years ago

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