Getting enough quality sleep is one of the most important things humans can do for their health. Without sleep, we would not be able to repair our bodies, grow muscles, regulate our hormones, retain information, and learn. Adults who don't get enough quality sleep often are forgetful, weakening their immune systems leaving them more susceptible to illnesses, just to list a few reasons for the importance of sleep. If sleep is this important to adult, fully grown humans, it is doubly vital for newborns and infinitely crucial for preemie babies.
Understanding Preemies and the Importance of their Sleep
For all babies, but especially preemies, sleep is vital for growth and development. All full-term newborns go between deep sleep (Non-REM) and light sleep (REM), having mostly light sleep with 15-20 minutes of a deep sleep, and an hour or so of light sleep. A “sleeping session” for a newborn will cycle through deep and light sleep two-three times. During these cycles, babies are growing, and their brain is maturing. That is why it is essential to try not to wake a sleeping baby and disrupt their sleep cycles.
Preemies’ deep sleep, however, is far and few apart. A young preemie can have as little as 2-5 minutes of deep sleep during their sleeping sessions. Having proper lighting in the NICU helps the sleep cycle processes be more regular and help preemies progress faster.
Another piece that makes sleep so crucial for preemies is the brian. Since the brain is one of the last organs to develop, a baby born prematurely needs sleep to continue that development. Babies sleep almost 24 hours a day in utero, with their amount of sleep decreasing as they get closer to term. Preemie babies are missing out of this sleep and do not continue the sleep pattern once being born due to the amount of external stimulation they are experiencing for the first time. This lack of sleep is a severe disadvantage that preemie babies have to overcome.
What can Preemie Parents do to help their baby sleep more?
Because preemies are unable to reach an array of developmental goals in utero compared to full-term babies, in the NICU, nurses and doctors are focused on the preemies reaching their developmental goals in the NICU. The NICU is meant to decrease the number of stressors and interruptions for a preemie to achieve the sleep necessary to reach their developmental goals.
Preemie parents can also help their baby get proper rest by using lighting to show a difference between day and night, create and consistently follow a routine, encourage babies to learn how to soothe and calm themselves without a parent's help, and invest in our Pop-Up with SVS.
Why does my baby need a Prapela Pop-Up with the SVS bassinet pad?
Our SVS bassinet pad has the latest and most cutting edge technology on the market, helping newborns relax so they can sleep. It is the world's first random, non-habit forming vibration proven in clinical studies that are so gentle it does not interrupt sleep cycles. Additionally, it is perhaps one of the very few bassinet pads ever evaluated with Preemies in hospitals NICUs. It's a new, gentle way to help your preemie relax so they can get the sleep they need to nurture their development, growth, and overall well-being. We think you and your preemie will Love the Prapela Pop-Up with SVS.