I had a good idea for today's post but when I sat down to look for information, they were hard to come by. Having lived in Asia and Australia, I've noticed that there is a significant difference in the time that children go to sleep. Over here in Australia, I think babies are usually down for the night by 6 or 7pm. I also hear that some of Aaron's classmates are in bed by 7pm but most go to sleep between 7.30 and 8pm. In our house, on a normal day, Adrian goes to bed at 7pm and Aaron at 8pm.
In Malaysia, I often see babies out and about in shopping centers right up until closing time at 10pm. Even if they are at home, I think many go to sleep for the night when their parents go. These are based on my observations of people in my family and my neighbors. School aged children also have bedtimes that are quite late because they often have extra tuition classes in the evenings that don't finish until 9pm.
My intention tonight was to find some data on bed times around the world. Unfortunately, the best I can do is the information I share below. I got it from the Sleep Education blog and I think their information originated from a study presented at Sleep 2008 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Children in New Zealand went to bed the earliest with an average bedtime of 7:16 p.m. Children in Hong Kong went to bed the latest with an average bedtime of 10:10 p.m. U.S. children had an average bedtime of 8:52 p.m.
I don't think its healthy for children to go to bed so late and personally, I wouldn't be able to handle the meltdowns that would occur if Aaron or Adrian were to stay up to 10pm but its out of necessity that this happens in many Asian countries. It deserves a whole post of its own but those evening tuition classes that I mentioned are a necessity to pass all the school exams. Oh and don't forget the amount of homework that children in Asia get - homework from school AND the tuition classes.
Japanese children had the lowest total sleep time (i.e., nightly sleep plus daytime naps) of 11.6 hours of sleep per day. Children in New Zealand had the highest total sleep time of 13.3 hours of sleep. U.S. children averaged 12.9 hours of total sleep time per day.
Once again, I am counting my blessings that we get to live here where there is no homework and children go to bed early. Hopefully, this won't backfire on them in the long run.