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Summer Sleep: what time to bed?

One of the most delicious things of the summer is sun lighting our way well into the 9 o'clock hour.  It's light until late, giving us time to lallygag, saunter, and generally play around outside until almost 10 o'clock.  And then I hear my husband telling the kids: "Get into bed!  It's 9 o'clock; let's get to bed early tonight!" 

Uh: 9 o'clock is early?  Under normal circumstances, during the school year, in the heart of the autumn and winter, bedtimes in our household are in the 7 to 8 o'clock range.  Under summer circumstances of concerts in the park and long-lasting barbecues, bedtimes drool into the 9 to 10 o'clock range.  That's a two-hour difference!

Well: how about you all?  How much later are bedtimes, now that Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun is out until almost the double-digit evening hours?


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If I could get my kids to sleep in, I'd love to let them stay up late! But they wake up at 7 a.m., even in summer. And of course, horribly grouchy if they stayed up past 9 p.m. the night before.

The original post sounds so romantic; I'd love to have happy pleasantly behaved kids after 7pm. But the fact is that by around 7:30 everyone in the house is cranky and it just gets worse and worse as the night progresses. But still nobody sleeps until dark at the earliest, and usually closer until 10pm. I wish there was a solution other than moving to the equator.

The kids sleep 10 to 8 year round since we homeschool! :)

It's 10:15pm as I am typing and my 2 year-old is still babbling away over the baby monitor! So yes, the summer changes everything. We're looking at probably a 1.5 hour difference.

we, too, are on the 10-to-8 schedule. tonight I thought I got them to bed *so early* because we were reading books by 9:30 :)

it sure is making me less-than-productive, though... I value my after-bedtime quiet time, and I'm not getting enough these days!

I keep trying to get my 17-month-old in bed earlier, but he won't go to sleep until 10 or so!

hmmm...all 4 of mine are up right now, but 2 fell asleep in the car earlier. i really need them in bed earlier, otherwise i get nothing done and no time to relax before go time in the morning! this summer bedtime has been anywhere from 7-10 usually, and true, even though they stay up late, they don't sleep in =(

Blackout shades solve the sunlight problem for us. The real reason we keep to a consistent (8:30-7:00) sleep schedule year round is because as someone mentioned above, we need our evening alone time!

I came home at 10 and my 3 year old was still awake. Even when we start bedtime early, say 830 he won't fall asleep until 945 or 10 this summer. He does usually sleep in so I am fine with it most nights. It's a two hour difference.

Somehow we are now 10 or 11pm until 8am. It seems to work for us though, with it being light out so late.

We shift by about an hour. 9 or so - sometimes later for a free concert. I'm blessed with kids that will sleep in. In fact, I have a 4 year old that will occasionally sleep in till 10! Growth spurts I figure. I let them sleep as late as they want if we can.

During the school year I run a pretty tight ship on the bedtime ocean, but summer, enh, it is go with the flow. I was raised in Alaska and that's how we did it there too.

I'm with Lora -- we've had several nights this summer of 10 or later to bed, but they always get up at 6:30 anyway, making for a grouchy, touchy emotional day. If only there was a magic button to get them to sleep in...

We are trying to stick to the same schedule which is asleep by 8:00. Has been closer to 8:30 . Our kid is consistently awake at 6:30 - 7:00, even if he stays up late. Plus we are still working and going to daycare, so "sleeping in" is not really an option.

It doesn't matter what time we put our 2.5-year-old to bed; she's always up no later than 7 a.m. That's why it's been essential to maintain a consistent bedtime, though it's been hard. We've definitely been having some 9 p.m. bedtimes more than I would like. More because of the heat, though. It's hard to get her room cooled off enough for bed at 7:30 - 8 p.m. when the high temperature of the day occurs at 5 p.m.

Like wami, our kids (7 and 10) wake up at the same time (6:30) no matter what time they go to sleep. So we turn out the light at 8pm during the school year and 8:30 during the summer. Sure, there are exceptions now and then, but for the most part, we are very hard-core about this. (The blackout curtains I made are key.)

Also, between 8:30 and 10pm is the only time my husband and I have to our selves. So we're pretty motivated to get the kids into bed.

To me, 8:30 is about the earliest my kids go to bed. During the summer, I'm aiming for about 9-9:30 the majority of the time unless there's some reason to change it. They do sleep in later with a later bedtime. My spouse and I are more night owls, so this works out ok for us as long as it is not an early start the next day.

Yep, blackout shades and continuing with the normal school schedule (enrolled in the preschool's summer program) has kept things pretty much the same, for us. Our daughter is knackered by 8:00, and a dimly lit bedroom gets her right to sleep as usual. Then we have the lovely, warm evenings to do chores, garden and (sometimes) relax. Actually, our experience with keeping the schedule the same has made me even more certain that year-round school would be fabulous!

Like some others, my kids wake up between 6:15 and 6:45 nearly every day no matter what time they go to bed so we are strict about in bed, lights out by 8:00 otherwise we have two crabby unpleasant children. Plus we are working and they go to daycare and camp so we don't have the same summer flexibility as some.

Where do people get blackout curtains? I would love to get some!

Shannon, I made mine by sewing two pieces of fabric together: dark blue for the outside and a pattern for the side facing into their room, and I made the curtains out of those sewn-together rectangles. They totally block the light.

Shannon, tired several options and happiest with ones from ikea. good price too!

My three year old gets up with the sunshine, too -- Makes herself a pickle and mayo sandwich and rearranges the furniture. We taped black posterboard over the windows. I think it's working.

We have hi-jacked their schedules, though. With summer activities, we sometimes walk through the front door at 10pm.

blackout shades are the BEST! we got ours at home depot. they'll cut them to fit. we've used these since birth. his room is a little cave and it works great. :)

our (almost) 4-year old boy goes to bed around 830p, up at 7a.

The later they go to bed the earlier get up, in my experience. I kept my 2-yr old up until 10 pm the other night and she got up at 5:30 am. Usually she's up at 6 am on the dot. Now that my son is older (6) he will sleep until the late hour of 7 or 7:30 if he's tired, but no later. Bedtime is 7 pm for the 2-yr old and 8 pm for the 6-yr old. The 2-yr old is often still up at 8 when the boy goes to bed (they share a room) but they can talk, read a book, or whatever until they fall asleep. They just have to stay in there and not get out of bed! I need adult time and time to do my "mommy chores" as I tell them.

Kids need good sleep. Keeping them on a strict early bedtime is best for their physical and emotional well-being. I can't believe it when I see parents our with their kids past 8pm. I think it's selfish to make your kids miss sleep in order to be able to stay out late doing things. Our 5 1/2 year old daughter always has a 7:30pm - 8pm bedtime. Plus, we really need the alone adult time to finish housework, pay bills, have a drink, etc. Sure we miss out on a lot of fun activities but it's the price of parenting. It won't always be this way. :)

Since the children / toddlers are still growing, we can give them one or two hours more before proper bedtime. They still need sleep despite it being summer.

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