We’re all familiar with the idea that some people are naturally “light sleepers,” but when your baby is one of those individuals who wakes up at every little peep, it can force the whole house into a forced silence during every nap and bedtime.
In today’s video, I’ve got an explanation for this phenomenon and, believe it or not, a solution to the problem! I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true, but give it a try and see how it goes.Rather read than watch? Click here.
I can’t tell you how often I hear somebody tell me their baby is a light sleeper. There is a reason why your baby is a light sleeper and I’m gonna tell you what it is and give you some tips on how to fix it.
So I mean, first of all, let’s talk sleep in general. We all cycle through about four cycles a night followed by our REM cycle and this whole four piece cycle plus REM is about 90 to 120 minutes all night long. So it’s called a sleep cycle.
So pieces of that cycle are quite light actually. Stage one and two. Stage one is basically drowsiness. Stage two is still pretty light and then stage three and four are our deepest piece of the cycle. Very difficult to wake somebody in stage three. Very difficult. And then REM sleep is actually quite light again.
So if a siren goes by when you’re in stage two or the fire alarm goes off when you’re in REM, there’s a good chance you’re gonna wake up. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way our bodies were designed.
Now, why do so many parents tell me their baby’s a light sleeper though? That’s a bit different. The reasons are a little different there. Most of the time, if you are rocking your baby to sleep, feeding your baby to sleep, giving your baby a pacifier every time she has to sleep then they don’t have independent sleep skills.
They are dependent on a prop we call it. There’s a prop dependency. So something external helps them get to sleep. So I can’t do it myself. I need help. That’s really the way it looks.
So if a siren goes by when they were in stage two and they wake up, they’ll usually start to cry because now I’m awake, I heard the siren, I’d like to go back to sleep please, please come in and do all the things that you got me to, how you got me to sleep in the first place and then that’s why parents that are like tip toeing around and they’re scared to play music and they won’t have people over for dinner and they’re just like, I had clients once who really literally were watching TV with headphones on ’cause they were so worried they were gonna wake up their baby who was such a light sleeper.
Now, the good news is once you teach a baby to sleep independently, so we say goodbye to those props and they learn a way to get to sleep that’s all their own, whatever that looks like then it’s not the end of the world if they have a wake up in the night. If the dog barks and wakes her up, she realizes, oh, I heard the dog and goes back to sleep the same way you do if you hear a firetruck go by in the middle of the night.
You acknowledge firetruck, go back to sleep because you have the skills. So then all of a sudden, this baby who wakes up at every sound that goes on in the house now can handle it if something wakes her and all of a sudden, you think, wow, my light sleeper went to a deep sleeper and that’s really going to help at least. I mean, there’s still, if she’s in stage two and the fire alarm goes off, she’s probably gonna wake up, I mean, and maybe be a little alarmed by the sound.
So there’s no way to prevent wake ups. People are not in comas when they sleep so that’s important to keep in mind. If someone’s sleeping, I’m not gonna run the vacuum cleaner right beside their head. I mean, we need to be respectful that people are trying to sleep but this will help at least. You can have your dinner parties again. You could at least watch TV with the volume up loud enough to hear because your child will be able to handle it.
Alright, thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!