I have an idea. Compulsory bedtimes for children at particular times.

Under 10s should be in bed – and asleep – by 8pm. 11 year olds by 8.15pm, 12 year olds by 8.30pm and 13 year olds no later than 9pm. Also, to make bedtimes worthwhile, I would introduce – by law, of course – built-in reading times. So, although everyone must be in bed by certain times, this is after having done 15 minutes’ reading. So, under 10s in bed and reading by 7.45pm right the way through to 13 year olds in bed and reading by 8.45pm.

I think it’s a wonderful plan. I can’t think of anything wrong with it. Sure, there will be a few complaints and mutterings from children when they have to go to bed, but they’ll thank me in the morning. They’ll be up bright and early, full of energy and ready for a day at school. And, having read for 15 minutes every night – one hour and forty-five minutes a week! – think of all the books that’ll get read and how much information children will learn!

Of course, children will complain. They will think that it’s unfair that they should be sent to bed at an unreasonably early time, that they want to stay up and play, watch tv or do all sorts of other things. Also they will say that they can’t go to bed so early because their friends go to bed later. And all sorts of other excuses.

But early bedtimes mean more energy. Children will not only be ready for a busy school day where they will work hard and learn lots of things, but participate in after-school sport, drama and art and other activities. And still have energy for homework and reading before bed. Everyone wins!

Early to bed, early to rise makes a child happy, wealthy and wise…


Article written by Ben Egerton

[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box] 

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:

1. Should children have set bedtimes, or just be allowed to go to bed when they feel tired?

2. What is the result of late bedtimes and early mornings?


[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:

1. Without naming names interview children at school and create a scatter graph (it will work best with at least 50 children) and plot on it bedtimes according to age. By looking at the results, what conclusions can you draw? How could you use this information to suggest or recommend age-appropriate bedtimes?

2. What would happen if you set, or tried to set, compulsory bedtimes for parents/care-givers? Find out! Share your experiences in class.


[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
[socialpoll id=”2230289″]


24 Responses

  1. This Is an Amazing thing to do I go to bed Around 8 and Im 12 and I have HEAPS OF ENERGY i totally agree.. :3

  2. I think its a ok idea but the bed times should be a bit later because I don’t know any 12 year olds who are in bed by 8:30. So it would be a good idea f you made the bed times later

  3. First of all!

    We are human and if we make mistakes we should learn from them we should not be made to something we don’t want to do. Although going to bed early is good but sometimes but if you go to bed TOO early it can be as bad as going to bed at midnight. Children sometimes want to be independent and want their parents to give them the responsibility about choosing when to go to bed but then again everything has a bad side like taking that responsibility and throwing it in the rubbish bin by going crazy and doing what they want. If you do have a set bed time it gives routine and with routine comes knowing when to wake up or go to bed without a clock telling you.

    So in conclusion I think this idea of going to bed at times should be given to the parent because everyone is different and their body’s react in different ways because we are all different so I think it should be up to the parent to decide what time is the best for their child.

    Yours Sincerely,

  4. I agree that all kids should have a set bedtime because you could wake up early and not have enough energy for the day. Your eye sight might be wonky and you will be very tired at school.

  5. sometimes it is fine to stay up late, because you might be at a friends for a sleep over or in the holiday and it’s nice to stay up and play but don’t go to bed to late

  6. I agree with this because I see the difference in my family when they get low amounts of sleep and I feel all horrible and floppy with short amounts of sleep.

  7. It it a free country and we should go to bed late it is bad and good that there is a set bed time because I’m a kid who likes to stay up and play but if I don’t get told to go to bed I get reallly tired and get really angry bad part about this is that you don’t get a lot time to play the good part is that you will get a lot of energy for the day.

  8. What!? It can’t be happening! Oh wait.. Its just a suggestion..
    Phew.. Thats good.. I go to bed at 8:30 😀

  9. i think its a awesome idea because parents get angry if they dont get up early enough for school and they end up being late for school and their parents end up being late for work 🙂

  10. I go to bed at 9:30 and I’m 11 and i do at least do like, 1 hour of reading every night cause i LOVE reading.

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