My Child Wakes Up Early: What Should I Do?

25 April, 2020
Lots of parents complain that they or their child has sleep problems. Here, we'll explain what to do if your child wakes up early.

Nighttime can be very difficult for parents. For many of them, it’s common for their child to have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. However, it’s also a problem if your child wakes up early in the morning.

It’s important for kids to fall asleep and wake up at an appropriate time. That way, they can get a good night’s sleep and function well during the day. For this, it’s important to have certain night routines from the first years of life.

My child wakes up early

There are several situations that can be hard while raising a child. For example, when it comes to putting your child to bed, and teaching him to wake up at a decent time in the morning.

When a child wakes up early, it’s a problem for the whole family, since one of the parents has to get up with him. So, one parent isn’t getting enough sleep.

Also, these children often wake up crying or screaming, which makes the beginning of the day not very pleasant. This way, it hurts both the parents’ and the child’s sleep. In fact, this can have serious short- and long-term consequences that affect the child’s development.

My Child Wakes Up Early: What Should I Do?

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”

– Thomas Dekker –

Consequences for sleep quality

Sleep quality is more than just a good night’s rest. In addition, it also includes how you function throughout the day. Having quality sleep is important for the following:

  • Psychological well-being
  • Physical health
  • Quality of life

On the other hand, poor sleep quality seriously affects mood in both children and adults. For example, you could experience these symptoms:

  • Sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

Likewise, it affects both motor and cognitive performance. Therefore, it could affect the learning process, like memory and attention.

Factors for waking up early

Sleep is a very important psychological process for human functioning. In fact, it’s a very important process for brain activity. Sleep is determined by several factors, such as:

  • Behaviors that facilitate or inhibit sleep: eating habits, physical exercise, using certain substances, etc.
  • The environment: light, noise, temperature, etc.

Tips if your child wakes up early

Based on those two factors, we recommend following these tips if your child wakes up early:

  • Set a bedtime routine
  • Establish a fixed bedtime
  • Leave the bedroom door open
My Child Wakes Up Early: What Should I Do?

  • Make sure there’s not a lot of light in the room in the morning
  • Also, make sure the room is a nice temperature and isn’t too noisy.
  • Try not to make your child take long or late afternoon naps.
  • Get your child used to not waking you up as soon as he wakes up.
  • Avoid sugary or energetic foods after dinner, like chocolate or soda. Also, don’t give him too much liquid at night.
  • Make sure your child doesn’t go to bed hungry.
  • Do relaxing activities and quiet games starting in the late afternoon.
  • Avoid giving your child sleeping medications.

By following these tips, your child’s sleep issues will be better or fixed. However, if they don’t help, make sure to talk to your doctor. Also, keep this in mind:

“If your child sleeps well, you will sleep well too. A child’s lack of sleep affects his evolutionary development and day-to-day performance.”

  • Hartmann, E.L. (1977). Funciones del sueño fisiológico. Barcelona: Labor.
  • Miró, E., Cano-Lozano, M.C. y Buela-Casal Casal, G. (2005). Sueño y calidad de vida. Revista Colombiana de Psicología14(1), 11-27.
  • Roselló, M. L., Malla, M. C., Pons, A. F., Uncio, G. C., Cruz, A. M. y Ferrando, E. R. (2010). Prevención de los trastornos del sueño: funciones del pediatra y de la enfermería en Atención Primaria. Pediatría Integral, 744.