Free Tip Tuesday – debunking common sleep myths
True or False?
-Keeping your child awake longer at night will help them sleep better because they will be more tired- it will also help them sleep in longer in the morning.
FALSE! When it comes to your child’s sleep, there is one mantra that should be playing in your head on repeat: “Sleep is NOT logical, its BIOLOGICAL.” In essence, what logically makes sense to an adult- keeping your child up later to get them to sleep in later- is not in fact how sleep for a child works. Your child’s sleep schedule should be based around their biologically beneficial sleep times, for those children who nap- nighttime sleep schedules will be dictated by how that day’s naps went. Your child’s bedtime should be based on an age appropriate number of awake hours post their last nap of the day.
Children should not naturally get a second wind at night- for most children these tend to occur between 7-8pm. This “second wind” can lead parents to believe that their child does not need bedtime until much later in the evening. What you are actually seeing is your child passing their natural sleep time and entering into a cortisol induced state of activity. This is the beginning of your child becoming overtired. Ever notice that once this second wind occurs they become very irritable and hard to put to sleep? I.e. The Meltdown Phase. Keeping your child on an age appropriate, biologically beneficial and consistent sleep schedule will help minimize these meltdowns, not to mention will ensure a healthier, earlier bedtime that will you give you some much needed alone adult time!