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Circadian Rhythms and Sleep

Sleep is a natural science. 

Have you ever wondered why a rooster begins their day at dawn? 

Circadian Rhythm is the idea that our bodies are scientifically programmed to wake with the sun rises and sleep when the sun sets. Although most of us don't wake up at sunrise, we are considered healthiest when our sleep patterns are closest to this natural rhythm. In an adult, this biological clock makes the us desire sleep the most between midnight and dawn. This biological trigger is established in the first few months and will create our individual sleep patterns that we will experience throughout our life.

This process is chemical! When exposed to darkness, our bodies begin producing more melatonin to encourage sleep and this chemical is decreased in the morning, causing us to wake up. Many people who are melatonin deficient or need an extra boost occasionally turn to melatonin supplements to encourage a more restful night's sleep.

Circadian Rhythm is instrumental in the process of quality sleep and important in the development of a child's sleep milestones. Quality sleep in children or adults is dependent on the proper amount of sleep, falling asleep at the right time, for the right consolidated period of time. 

Circadian Rhythm and New Babies

When your baby is four months old or less, they are still struggling to develop their circadian rhythm and biological clock. Your melatonin levels aren't the only processes affected by circadian flow. Body temperature, blood pressure and hormone release all play an important role in quality sleep. If you're in the process of sleep training your baby, using, be consistent with your bedtime and create a dim and comforting environment to help your baby settle down. 

Developing a sleep pattern won't happen overnight and it will require some patience and practice. It's important to progress your sleep routine at your baby's individual pace. Biologically, there's stages of development as your baby is creating a circadian rhythm. To identify where your baby is at this point requires a little bit of recording. 

So a great night's sleep starts with an understanding of our body's chemistry and a little help from the sun!

And you thought sleep was simple. Using the circadian method to help your baby establish their own sleep pattern is a step in the right direction for relaxing and substantial sleep throughout the night.