Examples of Bedtime Rules and Routines for Kids and Teens

Prevent Behavior Problems at Bedtime by Creating Rules and Routines

Create a bedtime routine for your child.
Mieke Dalle / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Without clear bedtime rules, it’s easy for bedtime to get pushed back. A lack of structure can also lead to kids delaying bedtime with a variety of tactics.

Unhealthy habits contribute to sleep deprivation, which can lead to a variety of problems, such as academic issues and increased behavior problems.

Create a clear set of written bedtime rules for your child. It can help instill healthy sleeping habits for the rest of your child’s life.

Review the rules each school year and make changes as your child grows and matures.

Children do best when they have a routine. This is especially true when it comes to a bedtime routine. Establish rules for bedtime that make your expectations clear and help kids develop healthy sleep habits.

Sample List of Bedtime Rules for Preschoolers

  1. No TV after 6:00.
  2. Bath time begins at 6:30.
  3. After bath, it’s time to brush your teeth and put on your pajamas.
  4. When you’re all ready for bed, it’s time for story time in bed.
  5. At 7 p.m. the lights go off.
  6. Stay in your own bed all night. You can earn sticker for your sticker chart for staying in bed after the lights are turned off.

Sample List of Bedtime Rules for Grade School Kids

  1. No TV or electronics after 6:30 p.m.
  2. At 7:30 p.m, brush your teeth and put your pajamas on.
  3. Once you’re in bed, we can read stories until 8 p.m.
  4. On weekends and school vacations, you can stay up an extra 30 minutes.
  1. Stay in bed until 6:30 a.m. each morning.

Sample List of Bedtime Rules for Tweens

  1. All electronics need to be turned off by 8 p.m. Leave your laptop and cell phone on the dining room table each night.
  2. Start getting ready for bed at 8:30 p.m. You can read until 9 p.m.
  3. Lights out at 9 p.m.
  4. You may stay up until 9:30 p.m. on weekends and school vacations.
  1. Set your own alarm each night and you’ll be given one warning to get yourself out of bed for school.
  2. If you need more than one warning to get out of bed, your bedtime that night will be 30 minutes earlier.

Sample List of Bedtime Rules for Teens

  1. All electronics need to be shut off by 8:30 p.m. All electronics will be left on the kitchen table each night.
  2. Be in your room by 9:30 p.m.
  3. You can set your own bedtime as long as you are able to get yourself up and out of bed on your own in time for school.
  4. On non-school days you need to be up by 9 a.m.

Create Your Own List of Rules

Create your own list of bedtime rules. Establish rules based on your child's age and specific needs. Your rules should change over time as your child grows and matures.

Bedtime behavior problems sometimes come and go as your child enters new developmental phases. Sometimes your child may complain about certain fears while at other times, your child may have difficulty falling asleep. Once you reach the teen years it's more likely your child will have difficulty waking early. Adjust your discipline strategies according to your child's behavior.

Continue Reading