Thank you to everyone who submitted their questions during the past 10 weeks! Here are a few more answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Q: What is your view on children’s sleep and possibilities to improve it (sleep training, etc.) to help the child sleep through the night?
A: We’re not specialists on children’s sleep. However, regular feeding and exposure to outdoor light (i.e., light in the morning and dim light/darkness at night) is optimal for the newborn to get in a good sleep wake rhythm. It is important that the child first establishes a sleep rhythm on his or her own. Only after that has been well established, might one try to implement sleep training. But there is no single age for that to happen. Nowadays there are some great tools available to get children more aware of bedtimes.
Q: How can you improve sleep in regard to the full moon or “Föhn” (weather condition in Switzerland: dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the downwind side of a mountain; some people say it causes ailments).
A: There is no impact of the full moon on sleep. One study found an effect, but nobody was able to replicate it. So it is a myth.
Temperature can have a big impact on sleep. It is preferred to sleep in an environment of around 18C. During sleep your body wants to cool down a bit. Hot weather prevents this cooling down process. Air-conditioning is preferred during a Föhn, but if that is not possible then a fan or a cool to lukewarm shower (but not cold) will help.
Q: What would you say are the keys to great sleep?
- Keep a consistent/regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Schedule sufficient time for sleep. Most people need 8 hours, but be aware that 8 hours in bed does not equal 8 hours of sleep.
- Do your best to make sure nothing can disrupt your sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, dark, and silent, with clean air, and your mattress should support you and be comfortable at the same time.
- Minimize caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals in the evening.
- Get plenty of outdoor light and physical activity during the daytime.
- Build in a wind down period in the evening to relax before going to bed and build a nightly pre-sleep routine.