The Best Sleeping Time for Students by Age

Ginger Abbot

Feb 11, 2023
best sleeping time for students

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The amount of sleep a person needs depends partly on their age. In general, children need less sleep as they get older, although many students aren’t getting enough shuteye. A good night’s rest can impact a student’s school performance, mood, and overall health. Here is the best sleeping time for students of any age. 

Three- to Five-Year-Olds

Preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle. This includes naps. For example, a three-year-old might sleep nine hours overnight, then need a one-hour nap later in the day. 

Some schools provide scheduled naptimes for very young children, especially for those attending an all-day preschool. Otherwise, you can plan for your child to take a nap when they get home. 

An example of a sleep schedule for preschool children is to be in bed by 9:00 p.m., wake up at 7:00 a.m., then take a one-hour nap in the early afternoon. 

Six- to 12-Year-Olds

Students in this age group need nine to 12 hours of sleep per 24-hour period. As with preschoolers, children in this age range may need to take a nap to achieve the right amount of sleep. Or, they may sleep nine consecutive hours in a night. 

The best sleeping time for students in this age bracket depends on what time school starts. For example, if your child normally sleeps nine hours a night and school starts at 8:00 a.m., put them to bed around 10:00 p.m. and wake them up at 7:00 in the morning. This gives you both an hour to get ready before school. 

Take your child’s personality, activity level, and health into account when creating their bedtime and nap routine. Planning for your child to go to bed when they naturally feel tired will help things go more smoothly. 

Thirteen- to Eighteen-Year-Olds

Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, though you might not know it by how much time they spend in their room! High school students may want to go to bed later and get up later. This is due both to a change in their circadian rhythm and their increased desire to socialize outside of the home. 

Late-night football games, parties, and movies might occupy their time. High school students may also study late at night to prepare for a test the next day, or for college entrance exams. 

Even with all of these extra activities, teenagers still need a consistent bedtime routine to ensure they get enough sleep. This is especially important considering that high school classes usually take place all day with few breaks, except for those between classes and at lunchtime. Students don’t have a chance to nap or even rest for a few minutes during the day. This makes maintaining a sleep schedule crucial for high school students. 

The best sleeping time for high school students will likely be later at night than it would be for middle schoolers. Many adolescents will create their own bedtime routine based on when they naturally feel tired. However, parents may need to step in and enforce an earlier bedtime if their children’s school performance is suffering due to lack of sleep. 


College students need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, depending on the individual. One person may function just fine on seven hours, while another will feel like a complete zombie unless they sleep an additional two hours that night. 

College students can incorporate naps into their daily routine if they have time between classes. Students should only take naps before 3:00 p.m. so they can sleep well at night, and they should aim to keep them short. Napping isn’t for everyone, but if you tend to feel better when you take an afternoon siesta, then do so. In fact, taking a nap could even help you remember information, making your study sessions easier and improving your grades. 

The Best Sleeping Time for Students

As a parent or student, you probably know instinctively when you or your child need to go to bed. Guides can be helpful, but listen to your body and take your child’s preferences into account when creating bedtime routines. 

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