Early rising is probably one of the biggest challenges faced by parents with small children. Children are programmed to wake up relatively early. Between 6 and 7 o’clock isn’t an unreasonable wake up time for a small person provided of course that they’re getting the right amount of sleep for their age group and that they’re sleeping through the night. 5 o’clock however would be considered early rising and it’s a big household problem. So the first thing that I recommend is that we rule out anything external so central heating coming on, noisy neighbours, the next door neighbour’s dog barking and then maybe that your child isn’t waking up because they’re hungry at 5 o’clock. When you rule out those variables I then would be looking at the biological sleeping times. So, I know it sounds counterintuitive, but lots of parents delay bed time hoping that the child would sleep longer in the morning. Well actually the reverse is true. If they stay up too late for their bodies, they get flooded with the stress hormone cortisol, which then presents itself in the early part of the morning and gets them to wake up instead of rolling over for that last sleep cycle of the night. So bringing bed time forward, so suitable bed time for most young children is sometime between 7 and 8 o’clock. In tandem with that, if your child is still on a daytime sleep schedule it’s important they get enough sleep during the day. And one of the big variables would be the gap between the waking up from the last nap and bed time wouldn’t exceed more than 4 or 5 hours. The next most important thing is that you need to make sure that your child is more awake than asleep at bed time so that when they’re going to sleep you can nearly hear them chatting on the intercom. That way you know that they are putting themselves to sleep and are able to put themselves back to sleep during their phases of sleep. 5 o’clock is the hardest time to go back to sleep, so if they’re not very good at it, they will wake up automatically instead of rolling over and going back to sleep for that last sleep cycle.