What does “healthy sleep” mean?
What we now know about infant sleep has come along way in the last 50 years. We know that a good night’s sleep is instrumental to our overall health and wellbeing as well as that of our little ones. It is vital for normal development and physical and mental growth, not to mention how it helps combat illness and disease!
3 benefits of sleep
It’s one thing to know sleep is good for us but it is another to know the actual benefits. There are more than 3 benefits to sleep (a whole lot more actually), but these are the ones that are most relatable to our small children!
- Improved immune system – When our little ones sleep their bodies are busy fighting off viruses.
- Improved emotional wellness – Tantrums, anger and crying are all signs our children are tired. This can be really hard for you to cope with and even harder for them to understand. A good night’s sleep will result in a rested, and therefore much happier baby.
- Better memory – When we sleep in NREM sleep (non rapid eye movement), our brains spend the time working through the days memories and storing them away. The phrase “sleep on it” is actually quite scientific.
How can your little one get more sleep?
This is the million dollar question! Whilst a detailed investigation would be the best way to answer this question, you could also look at the following:
- Write it down! – If you want to better understand your child and their sleep needs, you need to start writing down everything you see. Keep a log for a good 2-3 days and see if a pattern forms.
- Watch for sleep cues – Yawning, ear pulling, touching their face, rubbing eyes, staring are all signs your baby is tired. Trying to get your baby to bed BEFORE you see any of these signs is important. Seen one eye rub? Get them down for a nap before you see another one!
- Communication – Communication is vital to helping your baby or child sleep. How do they know what you expect of them if you haven’t told them? How would you feel if you went to bed one day and everything was different, your old comfortable routine had gone and had been replaced with a new shiny one? You might find it hard to switch off and get a good night’s sleep. Had someone told you that when you went to bed things would be different, you would have been able to adjust and get used to the idea before you got there.
To find out more about working with Cara to understand your childrens sleep click on her profile at the top of the page.