Some kids have an early bedtime because their parents need some time alone without kids, but studies show that children's cognitive, emotional and physical development benefits from getting to bed earlier. So what exactly does "earlier" mean? The healthiest bedtime, according to research, is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Putting your kids to bed before the sun goes down may seem excessive, but even an extra hour of sleep is well worth it. A 2012 Pediatrics study showed that kids, aged 7 to 11, who went to bed just one hour earlier for five nights a week were more alert and less irritable in school.