What time do UK prisoners go to bed?

What time do UK prisoners go to bed

What Time Do UK Prisoners Go to Bed? Your Comprehensive Guide


The daily routine of prisoners in the United Kingdom is a subject that often piques public curiosity. One question that frequently comes up is, “What time do UK prisoners go to bed?” In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore this topic, focusing on the rules and regulations that govern bedtime in the UK’s prison system.

Why is Bedtime Regulated?

Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand why bedtime is regulated in prisons. The primary reasons include:

  • Security: A set bedtime helps maintain order and security within the prison.

  • Routine: A structured daily schedule aids in the rehabilitation process.

  • Health: Adequate sleep is crucial for physical and mental well-being, which is important for both inmates and staff.

Typical Bedtime in UK Prisons

While the exact time can vary depending on the prison and its specific rules, inmates in UK prisons generally have a “lights out” or bedtime around 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM. This is the time when prisoners are expected to be in their cells, and the lights are usually dimmed or turned off to encourage sleep.

What time do UK prisoners go to bed?

What time do UK prisoners go to bed?

Factors That Affect Bedtime

Security Level

The level of security at a prison can influence the bedtime schedule. High-security prisons, often housing dangerous or high-risk offenders, may have earlier bedtimes to maintain stricter control.

Age and Health

Young offenders and elderly inmates may have different bedtime schedules to cater to their specific needs. Similarly, those with health issues may have adjusted timetables.

Special Circumstances

Certain events or situations, such as a security lockdown or an ongoing investigation, could lead to temporary changes in the bedtime schedule.

Exceptions to the Rule

It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions to the general bedtime rule:

  • Night Shifts: Some prisoners may work night shifts within the prison, affecting their bedtime.

  • Educational Programs: Inmates enrolled in evening educational courses may have a later bedtime.

  • Ramadan: During the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslim prisoners may have adjusted schedules to accommodate pre-dawn meals.

Consequences of Breaking Bedtime Rules

Failure to adhere to the bedtime schedule can result in disciplinary action, ranging from loss of privileges to solitary confinement, depending on the severity and frequency of the offence.


The bedtime for prisoners in the UK is generally regulated to maintain security, promote routine, and ensure the well-being of inmates. While the typical “lights out” time ranges from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, various factors can influence this schedule. Understanding the rules around bedtime in UK prisons provides valuable insight into the daily lives of inmates and the workings of the criminal justice system.

What time do UK prisoners go to bed