The last 2 weeks have been unusual for me. I have had a whole spate of parents booking appointments for their babies that I have previously discharged. They were all sleeping through the night when I discharged them, and all of a sudden everyone is knocking on my door again out of the blue. Very bizarre.
All sorts of suggested reasons were thrown at me by worried mums wondering if they should stop the dummy, leave them to cry, stop a feed. All of which are, in my opinion not the best solutions to a baby that isn't sleeping.
It was so bizarre that I wondered if the hot weather was affecting my patients. I started to research the relationship between sleep and hot weather.
We live in England, and we are fully equipped for rain and cold weather. Hey, we are equipped for storms and gales. But once the sun comes out we start to wilt like lettuce leaves (I do anyway).
Sleep is a neurological event. If you wake up, it is because your brain is waking you up. Whatever the underlying cause, it is the brain that triggers or stops sleep.
There is a very clear link between room temperature and sleep.
Your body needs to drop its core temperature by 2-3 degrees fahrenheit to initiate sleep and to stay asleep. This is the reason you find it difficult to sleep in a room that is too warm.
So to ensure your baby stays asleep through a hot summer's night aim for a room temperature that is around 65 degrees fahrenheit or 18 degrees celcius.
I recommend getting a tower fan that can be set to drop the temperature to a specific level. I'm not sure blow fans are enough - they kind of move the air around the room but may not drop the temperature enough to keep baby sleeping.
So to all you lovely Mums out there worrying about why your baby has suddenly stopped sleeping well, this may be something worth investigating.