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Sleep Tips

Will a dark room help your baby to sleep better during the day?

Again, sooo many opinions! Some say your baby needs to nap in a room filled with light so they don’t get confused with day and night. Others say the room needs to be dark.

Just think for yourself, if you want a nice “Nanna Nap” on a Sunday afternoon, will my nap be nicer in a dark room or a room filled with light? Obviously the darker room. WHY?

As human beings, our brain (the pineal gland) naturally produces a hormone called Melatonin when it’s dark. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal gland is “turned on” and begins to actively produce Melatonin. Melatonin makes you feel drowsy and get you ready for night time sleep.

Darker Room – More Melatonin – Better Quality Sleep

Bright lights inhibit the release of Melatonin.

Now, in regards to your baby’s nap during the day.

If your baby is having his nap in a bright room, the initially falling asleep might be a problem although I have found, once the room is dark this process happens a lot faster. We all have a normal sleep cycle which means you’ll have brief wake ups. A baby’s sleep cycle is 45 min which means he needs to learn to resettle back to sleep after 45 min. If he is having a brief wake up and the room is bright and filled with toys and things that can stimulate him, he will wake up more than he was meant to. They usually struggle to resettle back to sleep from this point.

If you baby is having a nap in a dark room, the pineal gland will be “turned on” and a little bit of Melatonin will be released into the bloodstream and he will have a much better quality sleep. When he has a brief wake up in a dark room, he will not see anything and will not be stimulated unnecessary. The resettling process back to sleep will happen a lot easier and quicker.

When my twins were little (0-4 months) they also had their naps in a bright room (I didn’t know better). They never slept for longer than 45 min. By 4 months I was exhausted and took them to sleep school. At sleep school they separated my twins and let them sleep in a room with no windows. It was pitch black in the room. That first day they slept for 3 hours!

To change your baby’s room from bright to dark is a small change to make to try and improve your baby’s nap time.

Why not try it out.​

Christine

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