What causes early morning rising?

What causes early morning rising?

Today we are excited to interview Bianca Burge from Plan B Sleep Consulting! Bianca is a highly experienced midwife and certified sleep consultant who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula with her husband and two young boys. Her philosophy is based on science and experience that’s paired with a nurturing and holistic approach to sleep training.

So, what causes early morning rising and how can we work toward squeezing in a couple more hours of precious sleep for both us and our little ones in the mornings?

Day sleeps are not correct

When your child is rising early in the morning it can have a lot to do with their day sleep. From 4 months old aim to focus on a routine-based sleep plan. Ensure you are focusing on a set routine that you are practising the same times of sleep every day. By doing this you are realigning their circadian rhythm, which will encourage a predictable sleep pattern. Ensuring your little one is getting the correct amount of day sleep is vital to reducing early rising and if it is not addressed you will continue to have early rising.

Sleep environment

Ensuring their sleep environment is one of the most important parts of reducing an early rise. Firstly, making sure their room is not to hot or cold. If you are using a heater, have it sitting at around 18-19 degrees. In winter ensure they are in a warm TOG sleeping bag which will help to maintain a stable core temperature.

Use blackout blinds to create total darkness. By doing so it will increase their melatonin production and reduce any distractions.

White noise is vital for sleep for the first 12 months and anything after that is a bonus. The reason why white noise is so great is because it is familiar to them as they listened to it in utero for 9 months. White noise is also great for drowning out exterior noise such as siblings, birds, early morning garbage trucks or family members getting up for work.

Aim to use a white noise machine and have it sitting between 60-65db. You can get an app called Db metre to check the reading. The reason to ensure it is sitting at this level is because if it is too high it can be detrimental to their hearing and too low, they cannot hear it so no point in having it on. I tend to veer away from iPhones and iPads to play white noise through as it lets off a high pitch frequently that can irritate baby’s ears.


Genuine hunger can be an issue that affects early rising in babies younger than 6 months especially if they haven’t woken for an overnight feed. If you are confident that they are hungry then offer them a feed.


This is a very common reason why babies rise early. Around 4:00 am melatonin starts to reduce, and cortisol starts to rise which causes your baby to become more wakeful. They are sitting mostly in a light sleep phase around this time which can cause them to wake very easily.

Sickness or pain

If your little one is sick or uncomfortable due to pain it is common for them to rise early. In this case do the best you can to get through trying not to encourage too many new negative sleep associations. Once they are better get back into your routine and focus on structure and predictability.

Leaps or regressions

When it comes to leaps and regressions your child is going through a lot of mental development. When this happens your little one may rise early because they are trying to practice a new learnt skill of rolling, crawling, talking or walking. This will pass if you are consistent with your settling and shouldn’t go longer than 2-8 weeks.

Tips to correct early-rising:

– From 4 months try to focus on an age-appropriate routine

– Consistency is key. The more you practice your settling technique the quicker your little one will learn.

– Ensure you are not putting your little one to bed too late if they are not linking their day sleeps as it will cause overtiredness.

– Try not to offer unnecessary early morning feeds.

For more information purchase our ebooks at https://www.planbsleepconsulting.com.au/products

Or purchase or early rising ebook at https://www.planbsleepconsulting.com.au/products/p/early-rising-4-months

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