Alvaro Bilbao’s four tips for waking up sleepy kids are backed by neuroscience

Ruben Garcia Diaz

In a house with kids, wake-up time can be a drama. Most importantly, if you have little sleepyheads or those who don’t feel comfortable being held. Luckily, there are experts like Álvaro Bilbao who share their tips and tricks.

The popular neuropsychologist shares four tips he recommends in an article Wake up the sleepy children and don’t die trying.


First of all, some suggestions Put soft lights in the room There are still 10 minutes until wake-up time. Some lights that kids sometimes ask you to leave at night can be useful, or the typical bedside lamp we use to read before bed.

No flashing lights or widening of curtains.“, advises Alvaro Bilbao. “Sudden changes in light can cause discomfort in the eye’s photoreceptors and activate the stress response, causing the child to wake up in a bad mood,” he adds.

Soft, warm light, on the other hand, can help because it activates signals in your child’s food glands, Bilbao explains, which “reduces the secretion of melatonin,” a sleep hormone hormone. so, The brain activates bit by bit in a relaxing way.

sleepy girlGetty Images/iStockphoto

Secondly, Alvaro Bilbao suggested Ask your sleepy son or daughter to answer a simple question Yes or no. “For example,” said Bilbao, “if yesterday you saw PAW Patrol Or if they want red shoes. “This trick helps them because they have to activate different structures in the cerebral cortex, “especially those used for decision-making, understanding and issuing voluntary responses,” says the child brain expert. “This will help you get started,” he emphasizes explain.


Two more tips with scientific evidence

Two other tips for waking up drowsy children shared by Alvaro Bilbao also have neuroscience support.

On the one hand, neuropsychologists suggest Lift our son’s head up, keep your head upright for a few seconds. “You can hold his head up when asking, or pick him up (head up) and take him to breakfast.”

This is helpful, says Bilbao, because “the brain has an organ called the ascending reticular system.” This part of the brain is what activates us and keeps us awake. “It automatically activates when it’s upright and tends to disconnect when we lie down.”

girl in bedGetty Images

The amount and quality of sleep for toddlers and school-age children is critical. But when our child seems to be habitually tired or we have trouble waking him up in the morning, these may be warning signs that he's not getting enough sleep.

Finally, as a fourth tip, Alvaro Bilbao recommends doing something as simple as asking your son or daughter how they would like you to wake them up from now on. “If you want to know the best way to wake your daughter or son, you can’t make the decision without relying on your children. Get them involved. Make your approach collaborative”, concluded the neuropsychologist.

This last tip has worked really well for us at home because since we did this with our daughter and she chose music – every night she chooses a song to wake up to – the morning anger is gone. He woke up in a much better mood.

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