Just How Much Does Daylight Affect Your Child's Sleep?
Sleep Expert Karen Bramall shares her experience and advice with us…
With Spring nearly here and, hopefully, the return of sunlight to our mornings I’d like to share some tips with you to ensure that your little ones don’t suddenly start deciding morning is here when the birds do!
The best environment for us all to sleep in is darkness, and I’m talking about developing photos dark! It helps to suppress the hormones cortisol and adrenalin and encourages melatonin, the sleepy one to be released. Our Circadian Rhythm (or body clock) is set by daylight, a reason I always tell families I work with to keep the bedroom very dark at night. When your set wake time comes around to take your baby or toddler out of the bedroom, expose them to lots of light and make a big deal of it being morning. This will even help with new-borns who many parents report do not know the difference between night and day, they’re right! Babies sleep patterns do not fully start to follow light/dark cycles until around 6 weeks of age when their circadian rhythm starts to develop.
With those light mornings coming around again make sure you have a good blackout blind, and no gaps where light can sneak in around the edges. We can turn over, when it’s light outside, and see the clock at 5am and realise than we have more time before the alarm goes off, but your baby certainly can’t and when they see daylight will quite reasonably think that morning is here. Similarly, for naps on the run, making a nice dark environment is a huge help in settling to sleep and resettling at the end of sleep cycles. In the early mornings, if the dawn chorus from the birds is an issue then a white noise machine can be a great tool for drowning out their exuberance! If you use one it must be on all night including bedtime.
One in ten parents admits that getting their children to go to sleep is a 'struggle'. If you have a baby, toddler or child who doesn’t sleep the night through then it really doesn’t have to be that way!
Implementing any kind of change can be hard work so if you would like some support on your journey to great sleep then there is help available. Infant and Child Sleep Consultant Karen Bramall from Baby Sleep The Night has a decade of experience and has worked with thousands of families to solve their children’s sleep difficulties with her gentle caring methods. Karen now trains others in her line of work and on her website you will find a whole team of Baby Sleep The Night certified Sleep Consultants