Newborn Sleep Cycle | How Does It Work?

Newborn Sleep Cycle; If’ you’re a new parent, you may have noticed that your baby’s sleep cycle tends to be a bit erratic. Sometimes, you find yourself waking up at odd hours of the night to the sound of incessant crying, unsure of how to soothe them. However, rest assured that there is a method to this apparent madness. By delving into the fascinating science behind your newborn’s sleep cycle, you can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and provide better care for them. Not only will this alleviate your own stress and sleep deprivation, but it will also foster a stronger bond between you and your little one as you navigate this beautiful but challenging journey of parenthood.

So, take a moment to explore the intricacies of your baby’s sleep patterns and discover the wonders of their well-rested growth and development.

Newborn Sleep Cycle

Newborn Sleep Cycle – The Difference Between Infant & Adult Sleep Cycles

Your baby’s sleep cycle differs greatly from that of an average adult. While adults typically need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night for optimal health, newborn babies can sleep for up to 18 hours per day. However, this sleep is often fragmented into shorter segments.

As your baby grows over the first year, you may notice a gradual decrease in their total sleep time. By the time they reach 6 months of age, they will typically sleep for around 12 hours in a day. This adjustment in sleep patterns is a normal part of their development as they become more active and engage in new experiences.

Newborn Sleep Cycle – Why Do Newborn Babies Wake Up at Night?

As a parent of a newborn baby, it can be incredibly frustrating to be woken up multiple times throughout the night. But have you ever wondered why this happens? Well, the reason is quite simple. Your baby has yet to develop a stable Circadian Rhythm, which is a natural process that occurs within our minds, regulating our internal sleep cycles and ensuring that we get the amount of sleep necessary for our minds and bodies to function optimally.

Though the Circadian Rhythm is indeed a natural process, it is not something that human beings are born with. It takes time for it to fully develop. That is why it holds such paramount importance to teach your child positive sleeping habits from an early age. By doing so, you are providing them with the tools to develop into high-functioning adults with a healthy and well-regulated sleep cycle, setting a solid foundation for their overall well-being and success.

Newborn Sleep Cycle – A Deeper Look into The Infant Sleep Cycle

When a newborn is born, newborn sleep cycle experiences, two stages of sleep. These are Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM). 4 months later, the baby’s mind develops to experience two more stages of sleep.

Stage 1: NREM 1

During this crucial stage of development, the baby’s delicate eyes begin to move slowly and gently roll, reflecting the gentle slowing of their heartbeat. As the little one’s cardiac rhythm gradually relaxes, their tiny muscles start to unwind, creating a sense of serenity and tranquility.

Stage 2: NREM 2

During the second stage of development, as the baby grows, its heartbeat gradually begins to slow down even further. Simultaneously, the movement of its eyes comes to a halt, while the body temperature of the baby also experiences a gradual decrease.

Stage 3: NREM 3

During the third stage of a newborn sleep cycle, which is known as deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS), a baby will enter into a state of profound slumber. During this stage, the baby’s heartbeat will decrease to its lowest level, allowing for optimal recovery and rejuvenation. Deep sleep plays a crucial role in a baby’s development as it facilitates tissue growth and cell regeneration, promoting overall growth and well-being. This restorative phase of sleep is vital for ensuring optimal health and vitality in infants.

Stage 4: REM

During this stage of a newborn sleep cycle, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a baby’s eyes start to move swiftly. Their heart rate, which had previously slowed down, now increases and becomes irregular. As a result, the baby’s muscles may become tense and occasionally experience spasms. Moreover, there is a notable surge in brain activity, indicating that the baby is immersed in the realm of dreams.



The type of a newborn sleep cycle is a critical and formative phase in its early life. During this period, establishing healthy sleeping habits plays a pivotal role in the long-term mental and physical well-being of the baby. Research has shown that babies who don’t develop proper sleep routines may encounter a range of challenges as they grow older, including difficulties with attention, learning, and behavior.

As parents, it becomes your paramount responsibility to create a conducive environment and nurture a natural circadian rhythm for your child, promoting healthy sleep patterns that will positively impact their overall development and future well-being.

If you’re searching for a Dallas Newborn Photographer, Lily Hayes Photography is here to help.

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Lily Hayes, an acclaimed Dallas Newborn Photographer, excels in artistic maternity and cake smash photography. She serves clients in Dallas, Plano, Richardson, Carrollton, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Wylie, Rockwall, and nearby areas. Her studio is conveniently situated east of Dallas near George Bush.