Although it might not feel like it, newborns sleep a total of 9 hours during the daytime, and a total of about 8 hours at night.
Imagine at one week old they have the ability to sleep up to 16 hours a day. Even 12 months later, these little bundles of joy are clocking close to 13 hours every day.
If you thought babies were incapable of dreaming than your totally wrong. They not only sleep more than the average adult, they dream more than we do.
Why Do Babies Dream More Than Adults?
According to experts sleep becomes essential to babies to help restore their brains and bodies. Both babies and adults go though sleep cycles in the middle of the night, however babies’ sleep cycles are unique compared to adult sleep cycles.
During sleep, adults brain moves through five different stages. One of these stages is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep when dreams occur. Adults on an average spend close to 10 to 25 percent of the night in REM sleep; where as babies spend nearly half of that sleep in REM.
Sleep cycles tend to be more evenly divided with infants between REM and NREM sleep. Alternatively, a baby sleep cycles a less only lasting 50 minutes from moving from light to deep sleep.
Studies have shown sleep is just as influential for babies’ development as are the scattered bouts of consciousness when their ears are up and eyes are open.
Did You Know?
- Sleep training is an newly invented modern trend which doesn’t have any origin
- It is not healthy to leave your baby to cry alone, no matter what.
- During REM sleep, our brain is almost as active as it is when we are awake
- A baby that sleep on their back is the safest position for your baby
What Do Babies Dream About
You might catch a glimpse of a baby smiling or twitching while catching a snooze. We would never really find out what they dream about because their isn’t a baby dream journal yet, but we do know that they dream.
According to Dr. Alan Green a pediatrics expert TEDx speaker and author tells us what might be going on in their little minds. Greene believes that “dreams help babies make sense of their experiences”.
You baby mind is quite active inside the womb by hearing and smelling trying to make sense of the world outside. This exact same process carries on when the baby is born, as everything is more vibrant and exciting.
Another indicator is the mood experienced when he or she wakes up from sleep. If they are smiling ear to ear and laughing, they most likely had a good dream. However being cranky and crying suggest otherwise.
The last thing you want your innocent child to experience is a nightmare. Many parents may feel helpless when they notice their baby experiencing a sleep disturbance.
Night terrors are common in children aging from 3 to 12 that takes place during the deep sleep cycles. According to WebMD these intense episodes often involve the toddler crying, thrashing, screaming or fear during sleep.
Experts tend to believe this occurs during the early stages as the child’s imagination is active mixed with developing a sense of fear. This is a normal process of child development as we all experience good and bad dreams in our adult life.