Getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle that people of all ages can relate to, but when you're a parent who has places to be and things to do, the challenge of getting your child out of bed on time is not one you can afford to face every morning.
If your little one refuses to leave their bed, keeps falling back to sleep or just finds it hard to wake up altogether, then you will first need to figure out why this is a regular occurrence and the find ways to fix the problem.
Why Your Child Might Be Struggling to Get Out of Bed
Once you get to the root of the issue, it becomes a lot easier to solve it.
If they are old enough, then it might be as simple as asking them why they find it hard to wake up or get out of bed.
Otherwise, you can look out for some signs or clues as to what may be causing the problem.
Are they tired in the morning? If so, then assess why this might be the case; if they are not getting enough sleep, you should try starting their bedtime routine earlier.
If this still doesn't resolve the issue, then they may not be getting good quality sleep, or they might be waking up in the middle of the night i.e. not sleeping all the way through.
There are several reasons that this happens:
- Medical issues such as asthma
- Sleep disorder e.g. insomnia, nightmares
- Bad sleeping habits such as eating or drinking right before bed
- Uncomfortable sleeping environment e.g. a lumpy mattress, a room that is too warm
If you can find out what it is that is causing your child to not get a good night's sleep, then you can make the necessary changes to their room, bed, night time routine or medication to fix the issue and stop them from feeling so tired in the morning.
If the morning struggle is not related to tiredness, then it may be down to anxiety about getting out of bed and starting the day.
As adults, we often don't want to get out of bed because we can't be bothered to deal with the stress of work that we know we must face, or the long list of errands that we need to run that day. The same can be true with children. Though they don't have the responsibilities or pressures of adulthood, they still have their own concerns and worries which may be making them feel anxious and not want to get out of bed.
For example, are they having a hard time at school? Has there been a recent change in their life e.g. loss in the family, moving to a new house, parents divorcing etc.? Is there a big event approaching e.g. an exam, a school play, a birthday party?
All these things have the potential to make a child feel anxious and want to stay in bed for as long as possible to 'prolong' the inevitable from happening or to avoid facing whatever it is that is making them feel anxious.
Start by having a conversation with your child about whatever it is you feel may be affecting them and let them know that they can talk to you and that you will do whatever you can to help make them feel less anxious.
Top Tips to Get Your Child Out of Bed in The Morning
If neither tiredness nor anxiety is the reason behind your child's resistance or inability to get up in the morning, then maybe they would just prefer to stay in bed for the day, like most of us would, and it's just a case of finding methods of making the whole process easier for everyone involved.
- Assess how you child is being woken up. Yelling and screaming is not the best way to start the day and bring them out of a deep sleep, so if this is what you are doing to wake your child then try a new method.
Purchase an alarm clock or try gently prising them from their sleep with a calm and gentle tone.
- Smells are also a great way of enticing people out of bed in the morning as they awaken the senses and will evoke a sense of curiosity. On more difficult days, try making some pancakes or waffles or something that has a comforting and inviting smell that your child will enjoy and have them jumping out of bed.
- Raise the room temperature. Leaving a toasty bed is always tough, especially this time of year when it's getting cold and everyone dreads stepping out from under the covers to be hit with a chill. Turn up the heat to make the room warmer and exiting the bed a little less daunting.
- Make the morning routine a little less manic and as quick and easy as possible so your child doesn't feel as though they have a million and one things to do when they wake up. Get everything prepared the night before, such as their clothes/uniform, lunches and any homework or chores that may need doing.
By keeping the morning routine quite simple - eat breakfast, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, style hair and go - your child won't feel as rushed out of bed.
- Open the curtains. Our body's natural circadian rhythm gives us the ability to wake up with the light and go to sleep with the dark – it's literally human nature. By letting in the natural light of a morning, you'll encourage your child's natural sleep-wake cycle to kick in.
- If all else fails, try a reward scheme. It's the perfect parenting tool when trying to motivate stubborn children. Encourage your child to get out of bed in the morning by offering them a gold star each day, then when they get to ten gold stars, they get a small prize. You'll notice that after a few weeks, they'll fall into the habit of getting up without the motivation of a reward system. Hopefully.
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