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Optimal Back to School Sleep Schedules for Students [by Age]



Summer vacation goes by fast and before you know it, the kids are back in the classroom. However, after a summer of crazy sleep schedules, it's important to get them back on track before the first day of school.

To start, begin their school sleep schedule about two weeks before school starts. If you don't have that much time, don't worry, just start today.

One way to begin and maintain a sleep schedule is to start having your child go to bed fifteen minutes earlier and then wake up fifteen minutes earlier each morning until you reach the desired school night bedtime.

So, what is a good bedtime for your kids and how much sleep do they need? That depends on their age and individual needs.

Sleep Schedule by Age

This is a general guide to assign a sleep schedule for your child. You know your child best so adjust as needed.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is how much sleep a child needs each night.

  • Ages 3–5 years: 10–13 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 6–12 years: 9–12 hours
  • Ages 13–18 years: 8–10 hours

If you have a third grader who needs to be up at 7am, they'll need to be asleep by about 9pm on average. A teenager needs to be sleeping by around 10pm. This is after bedtime routines, like brushing teeth, picking out clothes for the next day, and reading bed time stories.

Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits

There's more to getting a good night sleep than just having a set bedtime routine. Healthy sleeping habits also need to be adopted. Such habits include:

Limited Screen Time

Be sure all electronics are turned off at least an hour before bed. Keep mobile phone and tablets out of bedrooms at night. The sounds and lights from these devices will interrupt a good night sleep.

Calm Sleeping Environment

You'll want your child to fall asleep quickly. To achieve this, create a calm sleeping environment for them. Wind down and relax with them in their room before bedtime by reading a book, having a nice conversation, or singing them to sleep. A warm bath or shower before bed is also very calming.


Encourage your children to get plenty of exercise. This should be done after school and not close to bedtime. Exercise will help the body fall asleep and stay asleep.

The Importance of Sleep

Our bodies shut down without sleep. Children need plenty of sleep to remain focused throughout the school day and achieve academic success. By following the above guide and establishing healthy sleeping habits, you can ensure your child will be rejuvenated each morning and ready to face the challenges and fun the school day brings.

For over a decade, we’ve helped over 50,000 individuals improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. Contact us online to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.



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