When we talk kids and sleep we typically talk about their bedtime and naps, and how to get them to go to sleep and stay asleep, but did you realize that a set wake time is just as important as these other components of healthy sleep? A set wake time sets the tone for your child’s sleep for the day. Having a different wake time each day can make it hard to have a set nap schedule and in turn can affect bedtimes and lead to an over tired child. It can also leave your child feeling “jet-lagged”. With a set wake time it makes it easier to stick to your child’s sleep schedule from day to day and leaves them better rested in the long run.
When we talk about a set wake time we don’t mean an exact time each day, we mean the same time each day within a given hour. For example, your child’s wake time may be between 7am and 8am or 6am and 7am, depending on what the rest of your child’s sleep schedule looks like. If your child is not up by the latter part of that set time you would wake them up so as to keep them on track with their next sleep time. At first you may have to wake your child to make sure he is up by that set time, but with consistency your child will start to wake on his own at the right time!