10 Tips for Getting Back to Sleep After Your Child Wakes You Up

Just about every parent can relate to the experience of being woken up by their young child in the middle of the night. Whether it’s a bad dream, a late-night bed wetting, or the need for a little extra reassurance, nighttime can be a lonely (and sometimes scary) time for kids. As a result, many parents find themselves running interference with monsters under the bed at 2:00 am.  And even when your child falls back to sleep relatively quickly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will too.

All of this means if you’re a parent of a young child, you’re probably sleep deprived. While the typical adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, 60% of parents of babies and toddlers under 24 months of age reported sleeping only 3.25 hours per night.

Consider these statistics:

  • 12-month-old babies wake on average 1.8 times a night
  • 26.6% of toddlers still had nightly awakenings at 18 months
  • 28.4% of 2-year-olds had frequent night awakenings
  • 24-month-old babies still wake on average 0.9 times a night
  • The average number of wake-ups longer than 5 minutes were 4.72 at 30 months and 4.06 at 42 months.
  • It’s estimated that parents lose an average of 6 months’ sleep during the first 24 months of their child’s life. Approximately 10% of parents manage to get just 2.5 hours of continuous sleep each night.

And while the internet abounds with lots of tips for helping little ones get back to sleep after those late-night wake ups, there’s scant help available for parents who need to get back to sleep when their sleep is interrupted. So, in honor of Sleep Awareness Month, we compiled the ten best ways to help parents get back to sleep fast.

  1. Avoid checking your phone or other screens: While it may be tempting to check your phone in the middle of the night, most electronic screens emit blue light that may suppress melatonin production. A disruption to melatonin production can interfere with your sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  2. Meditate or try breathing exercises: Deep breathing and meditation can help calm your mind and make you feel sleepy. One method you can try is called box breathing. While emptying your mind and focusing on your breath, breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds then hold for 4 seconds. Repeat this cycle several times.
  3. Optimize feeding methods to minimize the amount of time you’re awake during nighttime feedings: Try breastfeeding while lying down or organizing bottles ahead of time for efficient nighttime feeding.
  4. Consider co-sleeping: Sleeping with your child will likely reduce the times you need to physically get out of bed. However, be cautious that sleeping in the same bed as your baby or toddler carries both benefits and risks.
  5. Listen to soft music: Music may help relax your mind and help you get back to sleep. It can also block sounds that may be disrupting your sleep (such as the snoring toddler sleeping next to you).
  6. Turn on a fan or air conditioner: The temperature of your sleeping environment can affect the amount of time it takes to fall back asleep. Try keeping your bedroom as cool as possible.
  7. Download a sleep app: There are many sleep apps that offer relaxing stories, music, or sounds. Try ones that offer a free trial to test if it’s right for you.
  8. Keep your lights off: When you get out of bed to comfort your little one, resist the temptation to turn on your lights. Similar to phone screens, bright light can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin and stimulate wakefulness – just be careful not to step on that stray Lego!
  9. Relax your muscles: One technique that many people find helps them relax and sleep is performing a full-body scan. Do this by closing your eyes and breathing slowly. Focus on your face and think about relaxing each of your muscles. Move to your neck and shoulders and consciously relax them too. Continue relaxing muscles in different parts of your body from your head to your toes.
  10. Try Can-i Sleep oral spray: There are many advantages to using Can-i Sleep oral spray for new parents over other, more traditional sleep aids. When your sleep is interrupted in the middle of the night, the last thing you want to do is take a sleeping pill that may take an hour to kick in and make you feel groggy or unresponsive when you have to wake up again in a few hours. The combination of melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA, and sleep-inducing herbal extracts such as hops and valerian root in Can-i Sleep are pre-dissolved and highly bioavailable. This means they’re absorbed by the body much faster than pills, gummies or beverages. The active ingredients in Can-i Sleep oral spray are absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth, bypassing the GI tract and getting into your bloodstream in just 15 minutes. The other big advantage of Can-i Sleep is that you can easily customize your dose. Rather than taking a standard serving of 8 sprays, you can use just a couple of sprays if you only have time to sleep for a few hours.

Navigating sleep disturbances caused by a waking child requires patience, support, and proactive measures. By prioritizing rest and using the techniques above, parents can better manage sleep deprivation and foster a healthier sleep routine for themselves and their child.


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