Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?

Sleep like a baby … an apt phrase if ever there was one. For the most part, babies will snooze and snooze through the night. Good for baby. Good for parents.

Of course, interruptions happen. They’re inevitable. A loud thump, empty belly, or loaded diaper can awaken even the soundest sleeper. Shrill crying typically follows, alerting mom and dad to: “Wake up and take care of this. Pronto!” A common scenario in the world of baby-rearing. And one that parents universally expect and deal with. It’s all very manageable.

Far less manageable are the babies who fight sleep night after night, week after week, month after month. Not an uncommon scenario. But it gets old quick. Clearly, something’s disrupting baby’s sleepy time. But it’s not diaper loads or startling sounds. Utterly perplexed, parents invariably try solutions galore and get nothing but frustration. No doubt, they’re looking everywhere except at a very common but little-known cause — the nursery night light.

The Right Night Light

It’s hard to imagine a warm, fuzzy night light actually could be a sleep disrupter. After all, isn’t that dim, friendly glow supposed to have a calming effect? Theoretically, yes. But if it’s like most night lights, it uses an incandescent bulb. Not good.

Abundant research demonstrates that incandescent bulbs actually may have a negative impact on sleep patterns. That’s because these lamps generate daytime light waves, which mimic rays of sunlight. Fine during the day. Sunlight syncs with our natural internal clocks and stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurochemical that tells people, including babies, it’s time to be awake.

In effect, this conventional bulb could be disrupting baby’s night sleep with the equivalent of sunlight. Infants react to the sunny illumination by fighting to stay awake. They have no choice … their natural clocks are telling them to!

Does this sound familiar? Chances are, you and your baby could benefit from a sleep-friendly nightlight. Certain LED bulbs, for instance, are a promising possibility since they emit far fewer daylight waves than do conventional bulbs. No sunlight; no sleep-preventing serotonin and the brain can naturally secrete the hormone that helps us sleep, melatonin. Babies don’t fight sleep naturally; they accept it gladly because they know it’s nighttime.

If you’re going LED, you may want to consider the Sleepy Baby Nursery Light from Lighting Science. It’s not a magic wand. But it does effectively minimize the kind of daylight waves that interfere with infant sleep patterns.


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