Sometimes during the first week of sleep training you may be wondering “why does sleep training make my child more tired?” It may seem odd that now that your child is getting more sleep and better quality sleep it’s getting tougher and tougher to keep them awake.
What happens in your child’s body when he is chronically sleep deprived and overtired is he accrues a sleep debt, which makes his body experience stress. The stress hormone cortisol is released, as well as adrenaline throughout the body and causes extreme energy. This is why your overtired child doesn’t show you the signs of being tired at naptime and bedtime. While he is feeling more and more tired, his body is feeling more and more stimulated from the adrenaline and cortisol coursing through it.
Once parents start focusing on healthier sleep for their child – making sure your child is getting the right amount of sleep for his age, and making sure it’s the best restorative sleep possible – the levels of cortisol and adrenaline decrease and the “good” sleep hormone melatonin is no longer suppressed. Suddenly our children are no longer wired and their tired bodies are showing the signs of being just that. Think of this as a good thing. We are kicking the stress of sleep deprivation to the curb and replacing it with the healthy sleep that soon your child will thrive on. It shouldn’t take longer than a week for your child to adjust and appear back to their old selves only stress free and better rested.
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site.