For young children, sleep is necessary to maintain proper growth and development. Children who have trouble staying asleep until a decent hour in the morning will often become cranky and overtired throughout the day. Many parents may go through a phase with their pre-school to school-aged child in which the child wakes up at an unreasonable time. If your child is waking up before 5am, there are ways to cope with this and suggestions to help shift their sleep pattern.
Use a radio as the alarm clock
One suggestion is to use a radio as an alarm clock and set it to go off at 7am. Be sure to let your child know that they cannot get out of bed until the radio starts playing. Remind them that they can read a book or play quietly with some toys in the room until the alarm goes off if they can’t fall back asleep.
Keep it dark
Another thing to consider is the light coming into the room. If there are windows with sunlight coming through in the mornings, think about buying blackout curtains or installing blinds to keep the room dark. This will make the room more sleep-friendly, allowing your child to stay asleep longer.
Bedtime stories and music
Lastly, getting in a pattern of winding down for about an hour before bed each night can do wonders in regulating their sleep. A great way to do this is either by reading them a book or listening to soft music that will help relax them. Also, think about their set bedtime; is it too early? Maybe shift it back just 15 minutes later.
Following a set schedule for several weeks should help you see a shift in your child’s sleep patterns. As a result, they will be better energized for the day and you will be able to sleep just a little longer in the mornings.