Favour’s last child Camila has become more and more difficult to deal with as she grew older. She is now 10 years old and will always go against her Favour’s decisions at every opportunity. The most recent brouhaha has been about her sleeping schedule. Favour insists Camila must sleep before 9 pm every day, but Camila says she enjoys a new TV show which does not start until 9 pm. And she will be unable to enjoy discussing with her friends about the show if she misses it every night. Camila argues that she is now 10 years old and should be allowed to sleep when she feels sleepy and not like a programmed robot. Why should sleeping be scheduled for children?


In the whirlwind of parenthood, one topic that consistently causes debate is sleep scheduling for children. Should bedtime be strictly regimented, or is flexibility the key? While opinions may vary, experts agree that finding the right balance is crucial for children's health and development. 

Understanding the Importance of Sleep

First and foremost, let's acknowledge the importance of sleep for children. Quality sleep is essential for their physical health, cognitive function, mood regulation, and overall well-being. It plays a vital role in growth, learning, and memory consolidation, making it non-negotiable for children of all ages.

The Role of Consistency

Consistency is often touted as the cornerstone of good sleep hygiene for children. Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help regulate their internal body clocks, making it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Consistent bedtimes and wake-up times create a predictable routine that signals to their bodies when it's time to rest and when it's time to be awake and alert.

Flexibility and Individual Needs

While consistency is essential, rigid adherence to a strict sleep schedule may not always be practical or effective. Every child is different, with unique sleep requirements and patterns. Some children may naturally be early risers, while others are night owls. It's essential to observe your child's individual sleep cues and adjust their schedule accordingly.

Factors to Consider

Several factors influence the optimal sleep schedule for children, including age, developmental stage, activity level, and overall health. Infants and toddlers typically require more sleep than older children, with newborns needing up to 16-18 hours of sleep per day. As children grow, their sleep needs evolve, but consistency remains key.

Tips for Establishing a Healthy Sleep Routine

  1. Set a Consistent Bedtime: Choose a bedtime that allows for the recommended amount of sleep for your child's age and stick to it as much as possible.
  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Establish calming activities before bedtime, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques.
  3. Limit Screen Time: Exposure to screens before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns. Set boundaries for screen time and encourage non-screen activities in the evening.
  4. Monitor Sleep Patterns: Pay attention to your child's sleep patterns and adjust their schedule as needed. Look for signs of sleepiness or overtiredness to determine if their current schedule is working.


In the debate over sleep scheduling for children, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. While consistency is crucial for establishing healthy sleep habits, flexibility and responsiveness to your child's individual needs are equally important. By finding the right balance between structure and adaptability, you can help ensure that your child get the restorative sleep they need for optimal growth and development.

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