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Why is sleep important?

why sleep is important

It’s also important for parents and carers to be aware of how lack of sleep can affect your own mental and physical wellbeing.

Look out for changes in mood and concentration, or for raised levels of anxiety or depression, and remember that driving when sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving when drunk.

Understanding Sleep

Sleep is essential - It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good health.

Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping, and it's unlikely to be the same as other babies you know.

New born babies sleep a lot! In the early days babies will be asleep more than they are awake. Getting enough sleep is essential for their development, it is the time when they can process their new experiences and skills that they are learning and wake feeling ready to learn some more.

Babies sometimes begin to have some slightly longer periods of sleep at about three months old.

All babies are different and it is common for babies to be around a year old before they sleep all through the night. Your lack of sleep won’t last forever.

Even when babies have begun to mostly sleep well at nights, there will be times when they struggle to get to sleep or wake again in the night. It might be because they are unwell, out of routine or coping with changes.

What you can do to help

Once you get to know your baby's sleeping pattern, you can start to teach them the difference between night and day.

  • When you are caring for your baby in the day have lots of chat and play time.

  • Don’t worry about household noises like the hoover or the washing machine in the day.

  • At night times keep the house quieter, the lights low and your voice soft.

  •  Try and do night feeds in a bedroom. Avoid TV and other screens as this can be stimulating for baby and make it harder for you to go back to sleep.

  • Try and put your baby down in their cot when they are drowsy – it is good if over time they learn to drift off to sleep. This might work sometimes and not others, but your child will be learning that their cot is a nice place to be and that you will come to them when they need you.

  • As your baby gets older you can carry on helping them understand bedtime routines. Babies need a lot of repetition to help them get into a routine.

  • You may notice that there is a time in the evening where they naturally seem sleepier – begin your routine about an hour before this.

  • Bath time, pyjamas, quiet cuddles and then bed at similar times every day will help this. It takes a while for it to become a habit so keep going.

Who can help?

If you’re worried about your child, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. If your aged 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635 443

**Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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