Unexpected things that could be keeping your child awake at night

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Have you ever put your little one to bed for the night and their only response to that is to cry, scream, or just play in bed for hours? I think we have all been there at least once. What could be keeping your child awake? The most frustrating part of that is that you have likely also gone by the book with all their sleep needs. You have the black out shades, and the white noise machine. You’ve got their schedule down to a science. Everything is laid out perfectly, and yet, still there’s a sleep struggle. I’ve put together a list of a few things that could be the culprit.

what is keeping my child awake

Your child could be afraid of the dark

Around the age of 2 or 3 children start to grow a strong imagination, and can start to see things in the dark that scare them. This could be keeping your child awake at night. A simple solution would be to incorporate a nightlight. You may be wondering what the point of having black out shades is, if you also have a nightlight. The blackout shades are meant to block out sunlight and harsh streetlights. They also make the baby’s room a more consistent space. So adding a nightlight will not negate the blackout shades. A nightlight shouldn’t be bright enough to create a fully lit room. I love the Hatch Rest (affiliate link to follow) for this. I can set the brightness to really low, and set the color to something soothing, like reddish pink, to help my children to feel secure and still rested.

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Chocolate keeps children awake

The fact is, chocolate contains caffeine. Even the smallest amount of caffeine can over stimulate a child and hinder the development of melatonin when it’s time to sleep, and would be keeping your child awake.

When my daughter was around 3 I noticed that every time she had chocolate, it was a huge struggle to get her to sleep at bedtime. I decided to completely eliminate chocolate from her diet, and it made an immediate difference. I wasn’t feeding her chocolate constantly, or every day, for that matter. Even one night of less sleep can throw a child off for days. So it was just easier to navigate by not offering her any at all. It can be tricky during halloween and Christmas especially. We always have white chocolate on hand if there’s a feeling of missing out. A lot of chocolate bars come in white chocolate versions too! And we even have white hot chocolate. There are so many alternatives!

Screen time too close to bed time will keep your child awake

The best blue light blocker isn’t going to help when it comes to screens too close to bed time. It’s recommended to turn off screens at least two hours before bed time. A child’s brain needs some time to cool down.

Definitely keep screens out of the child’s bedroom. Even having them in the room can hinder the calming feeling you’re hoping for in a sleep environment, and can be keeping your child awake.

The good news is, you can definitely overcome any sleep struggle, as long as you’re prioritizing sleep and staying consistent. You can always ask me for some tips! Be sure to bookmark this post to refer back to if you need a refresher!

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Unexpected things that could be keeping your child awake at night

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