by: Kendra Hackenberg
Summer equals longer days (yay!), but it can also mean that it will still be light outside at your little one’s bedtime. The solution? If you haven’t already, invest in SlumberPod!
One of my top tips in getting good quality sleep for your child is to invest in SlumberPod. Keeping your baby’s sleeping space extra dark is a tremendous help in ensuring long, high quality nighttime sleep and naps.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty reasons why creating that dark sleeping environment for your baby can really help ensure a good night’s sleep at the onset of bedtime, eliminating the dreaded early morning wake-ups, and create a restorative napping space.
The circadian rhythm is our internal body clock, that tells us when to wake up in the morning and when to go to sleep at night. It is made up of two hormones: melatonin and cortisol. If you have a baby or child who isn’t sleeping well, you have probably heard of these terms!
The Science Behind the Concept of the SlumberPod – Melatonin Production
Melatonin, otherwise known as the “sleepy hormone”, or “the hormone of darkness”, helps to settle your body and mind when it is time to go to sleep. In other words, it is your brain’s way of drawing the curtains for the night.
And guess what?! No need to spend money on room darkening curtains, blinds, or putting unattractive black garbage bags on your window to make your child’s room darker, only for light to still peek through the sides or top. The SlumberPod is your one-stop solution to enhance melatonin production, and get your child sleeping well.
The increase in melatonin production begins around dusk and is released into the bloodstream through the pineal gland of the brain. Its job is to send a message to brain that sleep is near and it is time for your body to relax and switch gears into nighttime sleep.
When darkness begins, our bodies recognize the onset of night, which increases our production of melatonin. You have probably heard, “no screen time before bed” and this is why: The blue light emitted from a screen, when a phone, iPad, computer, or television, fills our eyes with artificial light, tricking the brain into thinking it is not time to sleep. This blue light interferes with our naturally occurring melatonin production. When I work with clients in the toddler and above age range, I always recommend eliminating screen time at least two hours before the onset of sleep.
Side note: If you want to test your child’s room for darkness, go into their bedroom in the middle of the day with the lights off and look at the back of your hand. If it is hard to see the back of your hand, then the room is dark enough. If not, there is an easy solution for that!
Eliminating Early Morning Wake-Ups With SlumberPod
Babies and children are biologically wired to wake up between 6:00-7:30 am. So if your child is waking before 6:00 am, let’s get them sleeping later!
Between the hours of 4-6 A.M., we are cycling in and out of lighter stages of sleep more frequently, increasing the chance your child will wake up during these transitions. About three hours prior to when we are naturally prone to waking up, our bodies start secreting a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a stimulating hormone, and is also produced in times of stress in order to elevate the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system, but in the morning, it’s just trying to get us started for the day. Cortisol can be thought of as mother nature’s caffeine and “opens the curtains back up”. It regulates metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar, suppresses inflammation, and regulates the body’s stress response.
Assuming your baby’s circadian rhythm is scheduling a 6-7 A.M. wake up, then her body starts to secrete cortisol a few hours prior to that, and at this point, the melatonin production has ceased for the night. So baby hits the end of a sleep cycle and begins to cycle in and out of REM sleep, or lighter sleep, more frequently, most likely causing her to wake up during these transitions. If your baby does wake up to light coming in the room, it is harder for her to get back to sleep during this time because her brain thinks it is morning.
2 Perks of the ‘Pod:
- So easy to take on travel to create the perfect sleep environment for your baby
- If you are room sharing with your baby, once a baby is 6 months plus, they become more aware of their surroundings. If you are room sharing with your baby (recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics), and they are 6 months plus, this can serve as a “divider” so baby doesn’t see mommy or daddy in the middle of the night and want to party! Instead, baby will go back to sleep. Much better.
Let’s Review: Pair With Your SlumberPod to Improve Sleep Tonight!
- Eliminate any screen time at least 2 hours before sleep.
- Two key components to help your child fall asleep quickly and around the same time each day is to create a consistent daytime and nighttime schedule that includes (Once your child has a set schedule, typically 7 months plus, try to keep the same wake-up time, nap times, and bedtime within 30-minutes of your “scheduled” times.):
1. Similar wake-up time to set the clock for the day
2. Bedtime around the same time each night
- For toddlers and older, dim the lights in the room (do not allow your child to get drowsy) during the bedtime routine to help send a message to the brain that sleep is near.
- Create a consistent and predictable bedtime routine.
- This is easier in the summer, but get a significant amount of sunlight during the day to charge up your baby’s melatonin production and set their circadian rhythm.
A past client of 15-month-old, Hannah, said, “Creating a dark space for my baby’s sleep was a GAME CHANGER.” I have heard this countless times from clients.
It’s such a simple solution that can go a loooooonnnnnnggggg way in getting that good quality sleep for your baby!
To receive $20 off SlumberPod, type in code “Sleepytime20” at checkout!
Download my Bedroom Darkness Scale to test your baby’s room darkness:
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