Healthy Living

Feb 5, 2014 2:54 PM by by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Sleep routines may benefit infants

A bad night's sleep can lead to a bad mood and a lack of focus, and that can have long-term consequences, from higher risk of stroke to increased risk of breast cancer.

So how early should we start a sleep routine?

A Central Coast sleep consultant says as early as 4-months-old.

"A lot of sleep is biological and behavioral, so when people understand the science of sleep, it really helps," says Kerrin Edmonds, a certified infant and sleep consultant.

Edmonds, a mother of three, says sleep is to the brain what food is to the body.

"And we would never think of depriving our children of food and we should really view sleep the same way."

She helps new moms create a plan, so that everyone can get healthy sleep.

"Having a nice wind-down routine is really important and definitely removing all media an hour before bedtime," Edmonds says.

This means no TV or looking at anything with a screen.

"Routine is really key because then they always know what to expect and they know that sleep is coming. Once you get that down, then the routine should help get them drowsy," she says. "It could be reading books, having a bottle, nursing, things like that."

Edmonds recommends putting a baby in his or her crib still awake.

"That way they know where they are going, because if we rock them to sleep and then put them in the crib, when they wake up they don't know where they are," she says.

A final tip: Edmonds says make sure the baby's room is dark.

"Melatonin is nicknamed the 'vampire hormone' because it only comes out in the dark."

An online search shows there is a lot of conflicting information about sleeping, but if you would like to know more about Edmonds, click here.

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