Does your little one only sleep for short bursts while napping? Less than 30 minutes at a time? You very well may indeed have a catnapper on your hands. You may wonder what is the harm in your little one getting sleep at short increments like this? Daytime sleep is extraordinarily important when it comes to the behavior, health and development of your little ones.
From the very second your baby awakens in the morning they start to use the benefits from the previous night’s sleep. As the time passes on in hours/minutes, that biological need to sleep again continues to increase. Naturally your little one has a maximum time that they can tolerate being awake, as we pass this time period our little ones start showing symptoms of becoming tired, as they lose their ability to concentrate, they start to become fussy and grumpy, losing their ability to pull in new information and they may show emotional disconnection as well by crying.
Specifically naps that last longer then half an hour are so important because after 30 minutes have past baby is then considered scientifically to be in a deep sleep. Things like memory and their immune system are able to be strengthened in this time frame, bones and tissues are able to be repaired, our little ones appetites are regulated, growth hormones are released, and most important of all their energy levels are restored and stress is reduced.
If baby is able to sleep for one hour or more they are able to get into what is called REM sleep. This is where their short term memory is transferred into long term memory, newly learnt skills are secured, brain connections are made, vision is sharpened and babies are able to process emotions in this time and again are able to reduce their stress levels.
Thinking about ourselves as adults it is important that we sleep good at night with as few interruptions to our sleep cycles as possible so we can function to our optimal ability. So it is important for our little ones to learn this skill and be able to make those transitions from one full sleep cycle to the next.