I had this post all typed up and somehow lost it. . . . . Kids need a minimum of 10 hours!!!! REALLY!!! I will edit this some more later when I have time.
I’m back. . . . Anyway, it is really important for kids to get enough sleep. If you have more than a little groaning and pulling the covers over the head in the morning from you kids, they probably are not getting enough sleep. My kids get around 11 hours in – not all of that is actually sleeping, the older 2 spend some of that time reading (30 min to an hour) and my youngest sometimes gets more like 11 1/2 hours. Sleep allows the body to rejuvenate itself and children expend a lot of energy throughout the day!!!
If you need to increase your kid’s sleep schedule and are getting some complaining, try giving them “reading time” instead of an earlier bedtime. Tell them that you agree with their teacher about the importance of reading every day and the time right before sleep is perfect for it! Some kids will actually do the reading which is just fine because it is still a restfull activity and other kids will fall asleep in the middle of reading the first page!!!
Also- making sure they get enough sleep also allows the grown-ups in the house some kid free time! When was the last time you were able to watch a television show with your spouse, and only your spouse? When was the last time you and your spouse got to have a grown up discussion w/out the kids interrupting? When was the last time you got to go to bed early and spend some cuddle time with your spouse? When was the last time that you got to read a book for an hour uninterrupted or better yet, read it to your spouse?? See, putting kids to bed early has advantages for them and for you!!! It’s a sanity saver no matter how you look at it!!!