Why are naps so much harder than night sleep?

Why are naps so much harder than night sleep?


Do you feel like night sleep is going pretty well with your baby but you just can’t seem to nail naps during the day?

There are reasons why naps are harder than nights!

  1. Your little ones drive to sleep is lower

Come nightfall, your baby's melatonin levels increase and cortisol decreases. Melatonin is the hormone that helps us to sleep. Cortisol is the hormone that will keep us alert and awake. Melatonin is usually at it’s peak around midnight and decreases into the early hours of the morning. On the flipside, cortisol levels drop at night and begin to increase again in the morning, around the time we rise for the day. 

So this is why napping during the day can appear harder to achieve. Lower levels of melatonin and higher levels of cortisol!

  1. We haven’t found the ‘sweet spot’ for their awake window

There are age appropriate awake windows that can be helpful to use as a guide, however, we sometimes need to tweak these windows depending on how our bub is responding. When you find the ‘sweet spot’, bub is more likely to go down for a nap with ease and sleep longer!

  1. They are ready to drop a nap!

If you are struggling with your little ones naps, it may be time for one to be reduced in length or dropped completely. Signs they might be ready are: refusing the nap consistently, taking longer to fall asleep, next nap starts to shorten.

We usually see nap 3 drop off between 7-8 months, nap 2 between 14-18 months then their last nap between 2.5-3 years.

  1. Their sleep environment needs some attention!

A sleep environment that is conducive to sleep is one of the most important aspects of our babies sleep in general but extra important during the day when sleep drive is lower than at night and it’s light outside! Ensure we’re providing a dark enough room for them to sleep in (if you can read a book in there, it’s probably too light). White noise to buffer out any external noise of the day and appropriate sleepwear are all things to consider! 


Remember - naps are generally harder than night sleep! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or disheartened by how your little ones day sleep is going, we can help! - Book a consult here x x

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