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Bedtime Routine Tips

A bunch of happy character on a colourful background including a bird, an owl, a young girl and a blue character.

What is a chronotype and how can it help you conquer the clock change?

In the Night Garden has teamed up with Mandy Gurney, Founder of Millpond Children's Sleep Clinic to provide helpful tips on creating a bedtime routine to help get your child to sleep every night.

What is your child’s chronotype?

Your chronotype is inherited from your parents, genetically determined passed on in a similar way to your eye or hair colour. If your child is a lark it is likely one or other parent is also a lark and similarly if your child is more of an “evening type” then one or other parent is also an “evening type”.

Larks: A lark child is likely to tire early in the evening and need an earlier bedtime. They usually wake early in the morning, alert and ready to start their day. If your lark child goes to bed later than usual they are likely to have less sleep that night, as they are still likely to wake at their usual early time.

Owls: An owl child is likely to have a slightly later bed and wake-up times. It is particularly important for him to have a regular set bedtime and, just as importantly, a fixed wake up time. If an owl type child goes to bed late, they are likely to wake later too. If this pattern is repeated, for example over a holiday, their body clock will shift into a later phase.

So how does having an understanding of your child’s body clock type help with the clock change?

Top Tip for Night Owl and Third Bird Little Ones:

Start by slowly moving bedtime and wake up time 15 minutes earlier every few days until you have adjusted bedtime to be a whole hour earlier!

Top Tip for Morning Lark Little Ones:

You don’t need to do anything before the clock change, hooray!

However, once the clocks have changed, (and you’ve had your lie in until 6am), bedtime will need to be an hour later. Remember to adjust naps and meal times inline with the later bedtime and wake up time.

To find out what chronotype your little one is, head over to our Instagram story highlights or download the quiz and tips below!


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