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For other uses, see Bedtime (disambiguation).
"Bedtimes" redirects here. For the monthly magazine, see BedTimes.

Bedtime (also called putting to bed or tucking in) is a ritual part of parenting to help children feel more secure,[1] and become accustomed to a more rigid schedule of sleep than they might prefer. It may involve bedtime stories, children's songs, nursery rhymes, bed-making and getting children to change into nightwear. In some religious households prayers are said shortly before going to bed.[2]

In adult use, the term means simply "time for bed", similar to curfew, as in "It's past my bedtime". Some people are accustomed to drinking a nightcap or herbal tea at bedtime.


In boarding schools and on trips or holidays that involve young people, the equivalent of bedtime is lights out or lights-out; a term also used in prisons, hospitals, in the military, and in sleep research.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dr Scoresby. "Winning the bedtime battle". Archived from the original on 20 August 2000. 
  2. ^ A Scottish prayer: "I am going now into the sleep, / Be it that I in health shall wake; / If death be to me in deathly sleep, / Be it that in thine own arm's keep, / O God of grace, to new life I wake; / O be it in thy dear arm's keep, / O God of grace, that I shall awake!" (from Poems of the Western Highlanders, 1900; in The Oxford Book of Prayer, general editor: George Appleton. Oxford University Press; no. 325 at p. 101