ParentingBabySleepSpeech Therapy

Tackling Early Morning Wakes 

“Why is my child waking so early in the morning?” A question that I get asked on a daily basis!  Although we may all want our children to sleep in until 8am each morning, unfortunately for  children any wake from 6am is usually considered acceptable if your child is going to bed around  7pm. But what about when your child is consistently waking at 5am, or even 4:30am, ready to  start their day?! Below I have run through the most common causes for early wakes so that you  can identify what might be causing your child to start their day so early and some tweaks you can  make to get you that well deserved extra couple of hours precious sleep. 

18 months and below 

Over Tiredness

Believe it or not, if your child is not getting enough sleep and goes to bed overtired, they are more  likely to experience disrupted night time sleep and early waking. Parents sometimes think that the  way to combat early waking is by making sure their child is extra tired at bedtime. However, most  

often than not, the key to cracking early wakes is an earlier bedtime! Overtiredness causes the  hormones, cortisol and adrenaline to be released. These hormones not only mask the effects of  the sleep hormone melatonin, they are also responsible for helping us to wake up in the morning.  The concentration of these hormones begins to increase during the second half of the night in  anticipation for the morning wake. Therefore, if your child goes to bed with increased cortisol and  adrenaline levels they will reach the concentration required to wake their body for the day much  earlier than required. To combat overtiredness try an early bedtime and consider whether your  child is getting enough daytime sleep for their age. 

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