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How can I reset my 4-year-old's sleep clock?

I cannot get my 4-year-old to go to sleep at a normal time. He will lay in bed awake until 12am sometimes. I want to reset his sleep clock over the summer before he starts kindergarden. Any tips or hints? I have a 2 month old as well and would like to find a routine that works for both of them together.

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Asked by NotATypicalMum at 11:21 PM on Apr. 21, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (8)
  • wake him up 10 min earlier than he would normally get up, then put him to bed 10 min earlier than what you normally would. repeat every day until his schedule is what you want it to be. stick to it, even if it doesn't feel like it's working.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I understand and I do not know what it is...I just checked on my son( it's after midnight) and he was wide awake in bed...he is 5 and has to be up at 7 am for school. He is tired all morning, then catches a second wind in the evening...I even give him showers with night time baby wash and night time baby lotion afterwords, bedtime stories and a snack and still he isn't tired. so I give him books to look at in bed and the house is required to be quiet after 9:30 by my husband ( it's a small place and he wakes up very early).

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 1:34 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • wake him up really early everyday for about a week and dont let him nap during the day if he falls asleep wake him up and go outside or something good luck my dd starts kindergarten this august too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:48 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • How much caffeine is he getting? What time is dinner? what type of activities does he do before bed? There are so many factors to not sleeping well.

    Answer by lady-J-Rock at 2:00 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • does he nap? if he naps skip his nap and he should go to bed earlier and wake up earlier!
    if he doesnt nap then start waking him up in the morning 2-3 hours earlier then normal and dont allow long naps during the day

    i have the same problem from time to time and skipping a nap and waking my boys up earlier seems to change it quick

    Answer by Riosmommy at 2:42 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Good luck with that. People have been trying to re-set mine for over 40 years now.

    Ask his doctor about trying small doses of melatonin. He may not be producing enough of it on his own.

    And, you could eventually just have to face that some body clocks are just naturally turned around and no amount of trying will change that significantly. He will figure out what works to help him cope with having to try and live on his clock and the world's clock. No, it's not easy, but for at least the next 14-16 years, he doesn't really have a choice. That is just how it is for some people.

    Answer by roachiesmom at 11:50 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Funny you ask this, because i have this problem myself. Up all night but up all day too, really wears on you. The only way ive found to reset my sleep clock is a "hard reset" where ill make myself stay up ALL night and all the next day, and not go to sleep until the desired time, but, i recently read an article in psychology today that said to reset a sleep clock, you need to slowly move your sleep and wake times later in tandem, so say youre usually up til 2 am and sleep til 10, stay up til 3 and get up at 11 for a few days, then 4 til noon a few days, then 5 to 1 and so on until youre where you wanna be. Dont know if this will work fot your son, but anyway... good luck tho, hope it works out

    Sorry about the poor grammer and punctuation, im on my phone and im not used to the keyboard yet

    Answer by charliebean at 1:01 AM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • I am having the same trouble with my 4 year old. He has a very consistant bedtime, 8:30pm and a very consistant wake up time, 7:00am. He will stay up all night if you let him. His hyperactivity is also MUCH worse when he doesn't get enough sleep. We have been doing the melatonin for about 10 days. It works!! He is asleep within about 10 minutes of getting into bed. He isn't staying asleep yet but I am hoping that with time we will get there. Good luck with your son.

    Answer by ajl013 at 9:24 AM on Apr. 23, 2010

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