The first step in preparing a sleep friendly environment
The first thing I recommend to all my clients – tired parents who really need to catch up on their sleep – refers to the sleep environment of their baby.
This is one big move we can do even before the baby arrives, meaning prepare the “stage” with the best sleep conditions when they come into this world.
And one of the most important things in creating a sleep friendly environment for our baby is a PITCH DARK SLEEPING ROOM!
6 reasons why a pitch dark room is ideal for your baby’s sleep
- A dark room during sleep tells a baby it’s time to sleep and it will help them produce melatonin. The sleep hormone is only produced in the dark;
- The quality of sleep is higher in a dark room giving the baby the chance to connect sleep cycles and have longer stretches of sleep. Light exposure at the wrong times alters the body’s internal “sleep clock” in ways that interfere with both the quantity and quality of sleep.
- Light is the most important external factor affecting sleep so any ray of light sneaking into the sleeping room could wake your baby up. Therefore it would be best to cover all corners of the windows or doors which might peak in at night or during the early hours of the morning. Parents should also avoid having children exposed to very bright light before bedtime because even a short exposure of bright light may suppress melatonin and shut down that sleep-promoting effect;
- Babies do not have any fear of the dark before 2 years of age;
- Studies have shown that if babies do not sleep in a pitch dark room up to the age of 2 years old (at least) the risk of developing myopia during primary school years increases significantly;
- A dark room is less stimulating for a baby during its sleep, thus encouraging him to resettle back to sleep and not get excited by too many things around him.
If some might think a dark room could be a “bad” sleep association, this could not be further from the truth.
Even if the baby would only have a good sleep in a dark room, this is a healthy sleep habit which supports restorative sleep further on into adulthood. Besides, there are so many ways to create this dark sleep enviroonment almost anywhere, that there is really no reason to worry about it as long as we are aware of its good impact on our sleep.
Moreover, an ideal sleep environment helps cultivate a good sleeper, and good sleepers are adaptable. That means that your little guy will be more flexible and sync quickly to his biological natural rhythm to find his way of falling asleep, even if the environment and the circumstances change in the future.
If you want to find out more about what a sleep friendly environment means for your baby, book a free Discovery Call below!