As your child gets older, they will want to have more independence, and with that comes new routines. One such change will eventually be a new bedtime, because your child will want to stay up later.

What is an appropriate bedtime for a 10-year-old? Each child has different sleep needs, so the answer depends on what your child needs. With that in mind, though, most 10 year old children still need 10 hours of sleep to fully function, especially if they do not get naps in the day.

If you still have questions as to what time your 10-year-old should go to bed, check out what science has to say about it.

How Much Sleep Does My 10-Year-Old Really Need?

The amount of sleep a child needs will vary and depend on several factors, like their health, genetics, and age. Here are some basic guidelines based on age:

Newbrons: 15 – 16 hours per day, in short periods of two to three hours at a time.

1-4 Months Old: 14 – 15 hours per day, a better schedule and pattern of sleep begins to form.

4-12 Months Old: 14 – 15 hours per day, but many infants generally get about 12 hours of sleep because of social schedules and daycare.

1-3 Years Old: 12 – 14 hours per day, with some of this being made up of one long nap in the middle of the day. Most toddlers only get 10 hours of sleep a day, even though more is often needed.

3-6 Years Old: 10 – 12 hours per day, and some is made up of a short daytime nap.

7-12 Years Old: 10 – 11 hours per day, but social, school, and family activities, push bedtimes back and most kids in this age range don’t get the sleep they need. Additionally, most don’t get a nap during the day, so with your 10-year-old falling in this range, you should take their schedule into consideration when making a bedtime and try to ensure they get, at the minimum, 10 hours of sleep.

12-18 Years Old: 8 – 9 hours per day, which is when they start to develop more of an adult-like sleep pattern.

Children Who Nap

If your child naps, then you should consider that time into their bedtime. For example, if your 10-year-old takes a two hour nap each day, then they only need 8-9 hours of sleep at night and you can change their sleep schedule based on that. Additionally, if they wake up later than most peers, their nighttime bedtime can be later.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Getting enough sleep isn’t just good for your mood, but it is also a staple to being in great health. Here are some of the reasons getting enough (and quality) sleep is good for you:

1. Poor sleep has been linked to weight gain, and not getting enough sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for becoming obese. Additionally, people who are obese tend to have poor sleep because of the weight, so it only exacerbates their weight gain and makes losing weight harder.

2. People who get enough sleep eat less because they don’t need the extra food to burn as fuel to stay awake. Additionally, sleep affects the hormones that regulate appetite, so if you don’t get adequate sleep, you will eat more.

3. Sleep enhances athletic performance.

4. Depression and anxiety are strongly linked to sleeping disorders. The less you sleep, the more mental health issues you could face. Poor sleep has even been linked to a higher risk of suicide.

5. Sleep enhances brain function, including concentration, productivity, cognition and performance. Some studies show that sleep deprivation can act against these things in the same way consuming alcohol does.

6. Sleep deprivation can lead to chronic diseases, including heart disease, and increases the risk of stroke.

7. Poor sleep can increase inflammation in your body.

8. Sleep improves your immune system. Losing even a small amount of sleep can lead to you becoming more susceptible to illness. This is one reason those who are sick need to rest and sleep to recover.

How Does Sleep Work?

It is not exactly known how sleep works to reset the brain and have such an impact on your health, but the stages of sleep are well-mapped out. They include:

Stage 1- Light Sleep. This is where you will feel drowsy, but you can be woken, easily.

Stage 2- Slightly deeper sleep. Your brain tells your muscles to relax, your heart to beat slower, your breathing to slow down, and your body temperature to drop.

Stage 3- Slow-wave sleep. Your brain lowers your blood pressure and it is harder to be awakened in this stage. This is the stage people may sleepwalk or sleep talk.

Stage 4- Deeper slow-wave sleep. It’s very hard to wake up from this stage.

R.E.M.- R.E.M., or rapid eye movement is when your eyes will move back and forth behind your closed lids, your heart beats faster and your breathing is less regular. This is the stage when people dream, and you have not reached full sleep until you enter this stage.

As they sleep, most ids will repeat all of these stages about four or five times a night. How soon you will reach each stage depends on how tired or sleep deprived you are.

How To Establish a Sleep Routine

One of the best ways to get your kids to sleep through the night and have a healthy sleep pattern is to establish a sleep routine as early as possible. Most babies will start to get into their own rhythm between 6-8 weeks of age, so this is a good range to start. Just remember that their schedule will change several times over the next few years, so you will need to adjust times to meet their needs.

Keep in mind that what you eat, drink, and do during the day can have an impact on how you sleep at night. You can do these things to stay to consistent and develop healthy sleep habits:

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. For people with a more rigid lifestyle, you can set the bedtime at the same time each night, but if your life won’t allow for that, try to stick to a bedtime one hour of your normal bedtime. You should stick to this on weekends and vacations.
  • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy, and don’t send your child to bed if the are not sleepy. Your body and brain need to associate the bed with sleep and bedtime, not tossing and turning and boredom. If your child is not asleep within 20 minutes, take them out of bed and try to do something to help them relax.
  • Make sure their bedroom is quiet, relaxing, and dark. If you can, put toys in another space or room to limit distractions.
  • Turn off electronic devices an hour to 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Eat dinner at least two hours before bed. Don’t drink a lot of fluids right before bed so you limit how often your child needs to get up to go to the bathroom.
  • Make sure your child is active during the day so they get out their energy before bed.
  • Develop a relaxing routine to signal their brains that it is time to start winding down. Avoid too much physical play that gets them excited. Try a warm bath, healthy, light snack, glass of water, potty break, brushing teeth, picking up toys, and reading a book. This is a basic routine that signals the end of the day.
  • Explain why sleep is important. If your child fights you on bedtimes, you should not lecture them about going to bed. Instead, explain to them why they need to get plenty of sleep.

Tips For When The Sleep Schedule Gets Thrown Out Of Whack

Sometimes, you cannot help your child’s routine being thrown off. Vacations, holidays, and illnesses can all lead to a need to adjust your schedule. If this occurs, try to adjust your schedule back to the regular routine.

Keep in mind that as your child grows, you will need to adjust their sleep times. To do so, follow their cues and set their bedtime back, but by no more than 30 minutes. Give it a week and let them get used to that and then determine if they need to have their bedtime pushed back further. This will help you gauge what your child’s needs have become.

Reasons Children Won’t Sleep

Sometimes, you do everything right and your child still won’t sleep. In that case, there may be reasons for your 10-year-old not going to sleep, or staying asleep. Those include:

Bedtime Stalling– Some kids delay bedtime by making up reasons to stay up. If your child is doing this, it is best to be firm and consistent about bedtime.

Napping- to much of a nap or not a long enough nap can both lead to your child not wanting to sleep at night.

Sleep apnea– if your child can’t breathe properly, they will not be able to sleep properly. If they snore, take them to a pediatrician to check their breathing.

Sleep walking and talking– these things interrupt sleep and can make it harder fro children to stay asleep. You can consult a physician if this occurs more than two times a week.

Health issue– illnesses can lead to a disrupted sleep pattern, If this is ongoing, take them to a pediatrician.

Medications– some ADHD medications or cold medicines can lead to disrupted sleep.

If your child is facing any of these issues, their doctor can help. Seeking assistance is vital to helping them get the sleep they need to stay alert and healthy.

Setting a Bedtime

If you have not been consistent in a bedtime routine in the past, or if your child has recently been diagnosed with a health issue that makes sleep harder for them, it is not too late to work on a routine and set a bedtime. To make sure you create a good routine and set an appropriate bedtime:

  • Determine what helps your child sleep. You will want to add these things into the routine.
  • Determine how much sleep your child needs.
  • Write out your 10-year-old’s schedule. You will need to be detailed and list when they get up, how long it takes them to eat and get dressed. Then list when they leave for school, what their school day is like, and when they get home. Include all extracurricular activities and routines.
  • Once you have the schedule listed, start with their wake up time. If they need to be at school at 8 a.m, and it takes them two hour to get up, dressed, fed, and to school, they will need to wake up at 6 a.m.
  • Now that you have a wake up time, consider how much sleep your child needs. If they need 10 hours, they will need to go to bed by 7:40 p.m. This gives them time to get settled and fall asleep by 8 p.m., which gives them the 10 hours they require.
  • Then, determine a solid and easy-to-follow routine. If your child has soccer practice at 5 p.m., most days, you will need to start their routine as soon as they come home so that they will be fed and ready for bed by their bedtime.
  • A bedtime routine should last no more than an hour. That is plenty of time to have your child get prepped and ready to go to sleep without them getting bored and restless.

These steps will help you develop a healthy routine that can get your 10-year-old to better sleeping habits.