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Healthy Sleep: The Signals of Sleep

Updated: May 19, 2023

signals of sleep

Did you know that sleep will come more easily when we lay our kids down at the right time?

Watch for the right signals or cues and your child will be able to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily. It is at this time that your child's body is preparing for sleep and producing melatonin (the sleep hormone).

You might have heard that a yawn, eye rubbing, arching of the back or even increased crabbiness are the right time to lay them down. We are looking for signals that come before those the yawning and eye rubbing. If you see these, you are verging on or have past the point of too late. It can be a bit harder to get them to sleep once you have seen these cues, and their rest may not be as restorative as it could be. Then if let go too long, your child will move into an overtired state, making it very hard to fall asleep.

What signals are we looking for?

The ideal signs that we are looking for are more subtle. Keep an eye out for your child to stop playing so much or maybe they even pause in playing. They could also space out or stare into nowhere. This is the time, where melatonin is starting to kick in. If you are coming up on a naptime or bedtime, go ahead and move your child to bed. This is when melatonin is kicking in and it is an optimal time for them to go to sleep.

If your baby is under 4 months of age, you can follow these cues and sleep them anytime they are ready. If they are older than 4 months of age, you want to make sure that they are sleeping on an age appropriate sleep schedule. To read up on how much sleep your child should be getting, check out Healthy Sleep: Sleep Schedules.

Wishing you rest,

sleep consultant

Certified Sleep Consultant

Smart Night Sleep

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