sweet dreamsHow do you suggest I make sure my five year old sleeps to 7am? She is waking at 6am and I'm finding that's not enough for her now she is at prep. Her bedtime is between 7pm and 7.30pm. Is she at the age I can say to her to stay in her room until the clock hits 7am? Bianca

By the age of 5 years, parents often mistakenly have their children up just too late at night.  7pm seems a reasonable bedtime, but add in the beginnings of school life, prep which is a full on 5 days a week, from 8.30am to 3pm and they are just plain tired out by the end of the day.

The other interesting effect of not enough sleep is that children actually shorten their whole nights sleep once they are too tired and then are even tiredier.  So an early morning wake up of 5.30am or 6am is quite common.

There is two different ways of tackling this problem.  One is too simply set the ground rule that her day doesn’t start till 7am and therefore even if she wakes early she needs to stay in bed until the ‘get up’ time.

The other way is too work from the other end and to put her into bed earlier.  I would have her in bed by 6.30pm – yes I know it’s early and given the weather also a nice time of day – however she will be much more relaxed, fall asleep easily and wake more refreshed.  After a couple of weeks, she will extend her wake up time to 7am.  I would still use the 7am ‘get up’ time as well.  A sleep trainer clock would also help with setting the ‘get up’ time.

You will be pleasantly surprised with the results this will bring.  Sleep is such an important part of her development and her brain does lots of growth while sleep and so too does our immune system.

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