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Best time to put your child to sleep

In general, the best time to put your child to sleep is between 6pm and 7:30pm. When exactly during these times is the right time for your child? The answer depends on your child’s age, the number and duration of their naps.

Yes 6pm might sound too early but has your child slept enough during the day? When did they wake up from a nap? If your child is not napping during the day, ask yourself when did they wake up in the morning? Naps have a huge impact on bedtime and night sleep.

Don’t try to hold your child awake until late as that will get them over tired. Over tiredness gets children in a “hyper mode” that won’t let them fall asleep. Help your child go to sleep at the same time every night or at least watch for early tired signs. Otherwise they are most likely to have a disturbed night sleep and early wake up.

Initiate the bedtime routine for your child and don’t assume that at 9pm, if they are happy and have lots of energy, that they are not tired. The opposite is true, your child is probably passed the best time for them to fall asleep based on their age. Now stress hormones are being produced and preventing your child from relaxing and entering a calm mood that is necessary for sleep.

Melatonin is produced in the late afternoon. Try to take advantage of these high levels of melatonin in order to help your child get the maximum amount of sleep that is needed for their development and well-being.

Melatonin is affected by light and dark. It’s starts being produced in the afternoon and reaches its peak levels at around 2am. This is the reason why children that sleep well in the first part of the night keep waking frequently after 2am. It mainly happens with babies who don’t know how to fall asleep by themselves. These babies will often wake up early because of lower levels of melatonin which leads to light sleep. Once they are taught to fall back to sleep by themselves, even if they wake frequently, they will be able to settle themselves back into the next sleep cycle and get a full night’s sleep.