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Child sleep in the second half of the night

I know for some people the whole night can feel like a bit of a sh*t show! But for others, the first half of the night can often feel much easier with their little one returning to sleep quickly from any wakes. Where as the second half of the night can prove to be much tougher with any wakes much trickier to resettle.

But why is that?

There’s a few different elements at play here which make the second half of the night harder…

  • The first half of the night is predominantly deep sleep.

  • The second half of the night is dominated my lighter REM sleep, that dream state sleep, meaning they can wake easier.

  • When you put your little one down sleep pressure - the drive to fall asleep - is high as they’ve been awake for a while.

  • When they wake in that second half of the night, they’ve simply not got as much of that sleep pressure present to get them back off to sleep.

That, coupled with the fact that melatonin - the sleepy hormone - is fading getting ready for wake up, means there’s a few things working against you!

It's tough, but it's normal

So although it completely sucks, you can see why it’s completely normal that they might be more disturbed by environmental factors and that it may be harder for you to get them back to sleep in the second half of the night.

But there are the usual tick box things you can look at to maximise your chances for those wakes.

So look look at all the environmental factors such as:

  • Using a blackout blind to block out any light.

  • Some white/pink noise, especially if you live next to a busy road/have other siblings who might wake them.

  • Make sure both the room and your little one are a good temperature - a slight drop in body temperature can trigger an early wake sometimes (this is why some people swear by using socks!).

Look at sleep over a 24 hour period, remember there’s only so much they can get, so checking naps are optimised and in the middle of the wake window where necessary and you’ve got an appropriate bedtime can help.

Finally, if you can safely co-sleep, this can be a fab way to achieve the most sleep for everyone in the second half of the night.

If you’d like some support with your little ones sleep, please do check out my sleep support packages, or hop on your free 15 minute introductory call. Or in the meantime, head over to my Instagram page for all my latest free help and tips.

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