BEDTIMES….Sleep researchers say that sleep is important for kids:

Staying up an hour or two past bedtime makes it far harder for kids to learn, say scientists who deprived youngsters of sleep and tested whether their teachers could tell the difference.

….The teachers reported significantly more academic problems during the week of sleep deprivation, the study, which will be published in the journal Sleep in December, concluded.

Students who got eight hours of sleep or less a night were more forgetful, had the most trouble learning new lessons, and had the most problems paying attention.

So here’s my question: do kids get less sleep today than they used to? When I was in third grade, my bedtime was 7:30. In fourth grade it was 8:00. In retrospect, that sure seems like an awful lot of sleep. But as near as I can tell, practically no one goes to bed that early anymore. Parents I know with kids that age typically don’t put them to bed until 9:00 or 9:30 ? or even a bit later depending on what else is going on.

Is this common? I’m mostly asking the parents in the crowd. When your kids were in fourth grade, what was their bedtime? Did they stay up later than you did when you were that age? Does this even matter?