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Key to night sleeping: more daylight

Allowing babies to sleep or rest awake during the day, without making a room dark could help night sleeping.

Posted: 4 June 2006
by Laura Lee Davies

Scientists believe that one of the keys to sleeping through the night could be as simple as taking young babies out more often between 12noon and 4pm.

University study
A study by John Moores University in 2004, concluded that newborn babies who were exposed to greater amounts of sunlight during the afternoon, quickly became better sleepers through the night.
The team was led by Dr Yvonne Harrison and the study traced the progress of 56 healthy full-term babies over three consecutive days at six, nine and 12 weeks.
Parents were given a light monitor to carry with the child at all times, and asked to keep a diary of sleep and crying.

Developing the biological clock
Dr Harrison believes this link between daylight and night sleeping could be down to the fact that exposure to daytime light (as opposed to keeping babies inside in darkened rooms) helps them to mature their biological clock - vital in controlling several bodily adjustments including the secretion of melatonin, which develops balanced sleeping patterns.

For more information about the research and its findings, visit the John Moores website.

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