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Although it might seem like ultimate wish come true when we hear about a young baby sleeping through night, new research is showing that this might NOT be in best interests of baby.
Babies are at their most vulnerable when they are very young. Their cardiopulmonary regulating systems are not developed enough to cope well with self arousal from long spells in NREM.
Alternating frequently between REM & NREM stops a baby from falling too deeply for too long into deep sleep from which she might not be able to self wake.
This is one of main theories behind incidence of SIDS.
Secondly, blood flow to brain nearly doubles during REM sleep and researchers theorize this is because this is time when brain develops.
Learning is thought to occur as brain processes information that was acquired while awake.
This is further reinforced by fact that premature babies spend almost ninety percent of their sleeping time in REM - to protect themselves from falling into a deep state of sleep for too long and to help speed up their brain development.
A young baby has a very small stomach (slightly larger than her fist) and because she digests breast milk very quickly it is unlikely that she'll sleep for more than four hours, and most likely for not more than 1 - 2 hours between feeds
After six months babies cardiopulmonary regulating systems have developed to point where their bodies are better able to cope with longer periods of deep sleep and thus risk of SIDS drops dramatically.
Adults need between 7 - 8 hours per day for peak condition. Adolescents need nine and a quarter hours per day, yet American adolescents average only seven and a half hours with up to 25% surviving on six and a half hours.
No wonder why they struggle to get out of bed most mornings and struggle with concentration during school!
Average Ideal Sleep Times
Newborn 16.5 hours 12 months 14.5 2 years 13 5 years 11 10 years 10 16 years 8.5 20 +years 7-8
Miha Thornton Mothers of Home Based Business Resource Center Empowering mothers to make money at home http://www.mothersofhomebasedbusiness.com