The Science Behind Your Baby’s Sleep
By Samantha Graham
A to Z Sleep Solutions Consultant in Glendale, Arizona
As adults, we all know how much better we feel after a good night’s sleep. We feel more energetic, in a better mood, and we can more easily deal with emotional triggers. But do you know what happens in a baby’s body during a full night of the baby’s sleep? When deciding to sleep train your infant or toddler, it can be very motivating to understand precisely why sleep is so rejuvenating to your child. Recent studies have shown that an infant’s brain grows and develops primarily during sleep. Our children’s brains are making connections between the right and left hemispheres as they learn new things, but these connections become stronger during sleep. These connections continue to be vital throughout the child’s life, and they are able to build on these early foundational connections. They help encourage learning abilities, social abilities, and vision.
According to a 2013 study by Dr. Ines Wilhelm, “Children’s brains transform subconsciously learned material into active knowledge while they sleep-even more effectively than adult brains do.” That means that everything your infant is discovering about the world during the day is being saved into their long-term knowledge storage at night. So the next day, they can build further on this knowledge! This is when short-term memory is transferred into long-term memory. Just as incredible, studies have shown that true physical growth occurs during sleep. During non-REM sleep, children’s bodies release the growth hormone.
When your infant or child is waking multiple times overnight and not getting adequate sleep, their mind is not able to work as efficiently as it could. Children who do not sleep well may be at higher risk for learning difficulties and social difficulties. If your infant is not getting quality sleep, they may have trouble retaining all of the information they are learning about this fantastic world. Most parents are able to recognize a marked difference in their child’s personality when they do not get a quality night’s sleep. As you can imagine, lack of sleep also affects our infants. It can make them easily upset, have difficulty focusing, and affect their appetite. The lack of sleep also causes our infants to be overtired, which can affect their next sleep cycle. Sleep is so crucial to a child’s growth, learning, and demeanor! Make your baby or child’s sleep, as well as your own sleep, a top priority, by contacting us here at A to Z Sleep Solutions!