Sometimes it is hard to tell why your baby won't sleep through the night. I could be colic or anything. At any rate that good night's sleep seems so hard for some baby's to come by and that affects your sleep too. Now there is a new theory. It is not colic at all but rather due to a lack of light.
This idea comes from another concept, which is that the reason babies don't sleep through the night is because their internal clock has yet to be established. Other theories are that the lack of sleep might be due to a lack of daylight.
If a lack of daylight is the culprit then the obvious solution is to make sure that your baby is exposed to a few more hours of natural light a day. That means taking the baby out in the prom. This might also help moms sleep through the night as well. The idea is to get both child and mother synchronized on the same schedule.
This lack of daylight theory is not that new of an idea. It is actually based on a study published in 2004 with the European Sleep Research Society which details how 56 babies at ages six, nine and twelve weeks old were studies over a period of six days. During those days monitors tracked the amount of light these babies received and then also their waking, sleeping and crying patterns.
So what did this study reveal? Apparently the babies that would sleep all night were exposed to more light in the early afternoon from say noon until two. This helped to develop the baby's internal clock so it would be triggered to produce melatonin at the right times. The babies who were stimulated with light in the afternoon simply were easier to put down at night. This is because the light stimulated the circadian clock, which is located in the babies' hypothalamus. It predicts sunrise and helps get us ready for the day.
Another key is to make sure that the light you are getting is very bright. If you live in a cloudy place like Vancouver or Seattle you might have to buy a Light Book to shine on your baby during the early hours of the afternoon to stimulate than baby's production melatonin.
It is good for moms to get out during the day as well as that early afternoon exposure to the sun's rays can also help heal post partum depression. Without sunshine our hormones become unbalanced and we end up becoming sleep deprived. This can end up in a reliance on antidepressants and sleeping pills to get through your day and night. This is not the kind of stuff that you want ending up in your breast milk!