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  Sleep – Darkened room
My baby wakes so early every morning and I really feel like I need to sleep a bit later so that I can face the world! What can I do to keep her asleep just a bit longer?

This is not a simple question with a simple answer. There are so very many reasons why your baby could be waking very early. However one very simple thing you can try, which is sometimes very effective, is to make sure that the baby’s room is completely dark in the night. You may think the room is dark, but in fact light could be getting in around the edge of the curtains or the curtains my be of light weight fabric which allows light to penetrate.

To achieve a completely dark room the curtain rail should be flat against the wall so that the curtain is also against the wall to prevent light leaking in around the sides. The curtains should be right down to the floor, and have a block–out lining which completely eliminates light. During the day with the curtains closed it should be too dark to see the opposite wall of the room.

It is common for babies to be woken very early in the morning by light, and a surprisingly small amount of light will achieve this. So even if the dark room does not completely solve the early morning problem, it may help with sleep overall. There is scientific evidence for the chemical changes that occur in the brain in very dark conditions, which promote sleep.

See also:

Sleep - Altered sleep routine

Sleep - Appropriate sleep routines (Jacqui Flint advises)

Sleep - Background noise

Sleep - Dealing with Catnapping (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Night Terrors

Sleep - Reasons for waking

Sleep - Sighing

Sleep - Sleep routines for Baby (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Surviving Co-sleeping (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Toddler Sleep Problems (Author Erica Neser advises)

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