Sleeping Tips

Sleeping Tips

First Article 

Research has shown that among the benefits of using a safe baby sleeping bag (a safe baby sleeping bag has fitted neck, armholes, no hood and is the correct size for baby) are:

  • they reduce the risk of bedclothes covering baby’s face
  • they delay baby rolling onto the tummy during sleep until baby’s past the age of peak risk of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy)
  • they promote back sleeping as the zipper opens to the front
  • they will keep baby’s temperature at a more constant level while sleeping

Source: https://rednose.com.au/article/benefits-of-using-a-safe-baby-sleeping-bag

Second Article

What makes sleeping bags a good choice for your baby?

  • They are easy to put on and take off
  • They can’t get tangled up, unlike sheets and blankets
  • They are comfortable and will ensure your baby maintains a steady temperature
  • Your baby can roll, kick his legs and move around in the bag
  • If your baby wakes up, he can often get back to sleep again on his own without you having to tuck him in
  • They will always be familiar, wherever your baby sleeps – great for travel
  • Some babies learn to associate them with bed time and will settle better

Source: https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/lifestyle/buyers-guide/nursery/how-to-buy-a-baby-sleeping-bag

Quotes from Laura Reno, director of public affairs for First Candle/SIDS Alliance: “Sleep sacks are really the first product that has come along that allows us to accomplish our goal of reducing SIDS rates,” and “We very strongly recommend sleep sacks.”

Source: https://www.babble.com/baby/sleep-sacks-reduce-sids-rates/

Having your baby swaddled and then cotton or wool blankets over the top for babies under 4 months or in a merino sleeping bag for older babies is the best way to go to ensure they are cosy all night long.

Source: https://www.littleones.co/blogs/our-blog/up-with-the-larks-tackling-early-waking

Safe infant sleeping bags have several benefits. An infant sleeping bag that is the correct size for baby with a fitted neck, arm holes or sleeves and no hood, is the best way to keep a baby’s head and face uncovered as it makes extra bedding unnecessary. Sleeping bags also delay baby from rolling into the high-risk tummy position during sleep and prevent the baby’s legs from dangling out of cot rails. If additional warmth is needed you can dress baby in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag, but make sure this is appropriate to room temperature (dress baby as you would dress yourself).

Source: http://www.sidsandkids.org/wp-content/uploads/SafeSleeping_Brochure.pdf

First Article

A safe infant sleeping bag is constructed in such a way that the baby cannot slip inside the bag and become completely covered. The sleeping bag should be the correct size for the baby with a fitted neck, armholes (or sleeves) and no hood.

When using a sleeping bag ensure that the baby is dressed according to the room temperature and do not use sleeping bags with quilts or doonas. If additional warmth is needed, a light blanket is usually all that is necessary, but take care to tuck the blanket in firmly so it cannot ride up and cover baby’s head during sleep. Another way to provide additional warmth is to dress your baby in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag to keep baby warm.

Benefits of sleeping bags:

  • Evidence suggests that sleeping bags may assist in reducing the incidence of SUDI, SIDS and fatal sleep accidents, possibly because they delay the baby rolling in to the high-risk tummy position.
  • Sleeping bags prevent legs from dangling out of the cot rails.

Source: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/safe-sleep-for-babies

Second Article

Research has shown that among the benefits of using a safe baby sleeping bag (a safe baby sleeping bag has fitted neck and armholes and no hood and is the correct size for baby) are:

  • they reduce the risk of bedclothes covering baby’s face
  • they delay baby rolling onto the tummy during sleep until baby’s past the age of peak risk of SUDI
  • they promote back sleeping as the zipper opens to the front
  • they will keep baby’s temperature at a more constant level while sleeping

Source: https://rednose.com.au/article/benefits-of-using-a-safe-baby-sleeping-bag

Source: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/safe-sleep-for-babies

Third Article

Top tips for checking your baby sleeping bag:

  • Check labels – is the information clear? Look for the British Standard BS8510:2009 on the label
  • Check any fastenings and the fit of the product and make sure there are no small parts that could come loose
  • Make sure that Velcro fastenings or zip fastenings are covered, so as not to come into contact with the baby’s skin
  • Always follow manufacturers’ washing instructions. Washing a garment at a higher-than-advised temperature could cause the garment to shrink, affecting the temperature or comfort of your child
  • Avoid purchasing products with added ‘loops’ intended for display, as a baby’s fingers could become caught
  • Check that the labels are secure and are not at risk of coming loose, posing a choking hazard
  • Check the stitching and seams – do not purchase if either seem unfinished or rough
  • Don’t assume that because the label states a size (for example, ‘for 0-6 months’) that it will fit your child
  • Do not use the product if you think that it may be unsafe

Source: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/06/is-your-baby-sleeping-bag-safe/

Fourth Article

A safe sleeping bag is constructed in such a way that the baby cannot slip inside the bag and become completely covered. The sleeping bag should be the correct size for the baby with a fitted neck, armholes (or sleeves) and no hood.

When using a sleeping bag, ensure that baby is dressed according to the room temperature. In cool climates, dress baby in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag.

Source: https://rednose.com.au/article/what-is-a-safe-sleeping-bag

Fifth Article

What to look for:

  • You should choose a baby sleeping bag suitable for your baby’s age and weight.
  • The arm holes should be snug enough that your baby cannot slip his arms inside. Some have additional poppers to make the arm hole smaller for very tiny babies.
  • The neck hole should also be the right size to keep your baby comfortable, not big enough that he could slip down inside.
  • All openings, especially neck and arm holes, should be well finished, with no scratchy or sharp edges or zips next to the skin.
  • Bags should not have sleeves or hoods.
  • There should be no loops, loop labels, embroidery, ribbons or other attachments that might come off and be a hazard
  • All bags should conform to the new British Standard for Baby Sleep Bags (BS 8510:2009)

Source: https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/lifestyle/buyers-guide/nursery/how-to-buy-a-baby-sleeping-bag

Hats and bonnets
Babies can overheat quickly if they wear hats or bonnets to bed. In fact, heat escapes through their heads and faces, so babies can only cool themselves down if their heads are uncovered. Keep your baby’s head uncovered in bed to make sure he stays around the right temperature. Also note that headwear in bed can be a choking hazard.

Take off your baby’s hat or bonnet when you go indoors or into any closed or warm space, such as a car, so she won’t get too hot.

Baby’s temperature
Your baby’s hands and feet might feel cool, but this isn’t a good indication of his temperature. Find out how hot your baby really is by feeling his back or tummy.

If you use a baby carrier or sling, keep in mind that your baby will be warmed by your body heat as well as her clothes and wraps.

Room temperature
If your baby’s room is too warm, you could use a plug-in floor fan to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. As an added bonus, the background whirring sound a fan makes might help block out sudden noises that could wake him.

Getting too hot has been linked with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Your baby should be comfortably warm – not hot, sweaty or cold.

Baby Sleep Bag
An infant sleeping bag can be a good option. A correctly sized sleeping bag is the best way to keep your baby’s head and face uncovered, and helps reduce the risk of SIDS. It can also help prevent your baby from rolling onto her tummy during sleep, and contain her legs so they don’t hang out through the cot’s rails. If your baby needs extra warmth, dress her in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag, but keep this appropriate to the temperature of the room.

Check that it’s impossible for your baby to slip down into the bag and become completely covered. SIDS and Kids Australia recommends that you use a sleeping bag that has a fitted neck and armholes but no hood.

Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/dressing_baby_for_bed.html/context/517

How to sleep your baby safely

  • Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
  • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
  • Keep baby away from cigarette smoke before and after birth
  • Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
  • Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

Source: https://rednose.com.au/resources/education

1. Put babies to sleep on their backs
This is the safest position for healthy babies. Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if they sleep on their sides or tummies. By the time babies can roll onto their tummies at around six months, most of the risk of SIDS will have passed. If you’re worried about your baby choking on vomit, it might help to know that healthy babies put to sleep on their backs are less likely to choke on vomit than babies put to sleep on their tummies. Once your baby can roll over (4-6 months), continue putting him to sleep on his back, but allow him to find his own sleeping position.

2. Make sure babies’ heads can’t get covered while they’re sleeping
Put your baby low down in the cot, so her feet are near the bottom end. Tuck in the bedclothes securely so they can’t cover your baby’s head. You could choose to use a baby sleeping bag instead of blankets. Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and arm holes are the safest.

3. Share a room
Have your baby in a cot in your room for the first 6-12 months.

4. Avoid smoking
There’s strong evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke harms babies, and that smoking during pregnancy and after birth increases the risk of SIDS. The link between SIDS and smoking is strong even when parents smoke away from the baby.

5. Avoid cot bumpers, soft toys, pillows, doonas and soft sleeping surfaces
These items can suffocate infants. Babies have suffocated when they’ve rolled into cot bumpers or soft toys. It’s safer to keep these out of the cot.

6. Use a cot that meets current safety standards
Only well-maintained cots built to strict safety standards are good enough for your baby. Lead paint, gaps that a young child can get caught in, and sides that are too low and can be climbed over easily are just some of the risks of second-hand cots that don’t meet modern standards.

7. Use a firm and well-fitting mattress
Make sure there are no gaps between the mattress and the edge of the cot, where a baby’s head could get jammed. Don’t tilt the mattress. If you’re using a portable cot, only use the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that comes with it. Don’t add a second mattress or any padding over the mattress.

8. Avoid baby sleeping on couches or makeshift bedding
Sleeping on a couch, with or without someone else, is very dangerous for babies. Also beware of makeshift bedding. Some situations where your baby might be in danger include getting wedged between a mattress and a wall, getting stuck between pillows or cushions, or slipping down until his head is covered by blankets.

9. Dress your baby in clothing that’s warm, but not hot
Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS. Ask yourself what you would wear to bed and use that as a guide. Keep your baby’s head uncovered indoors – this allows your baby to cool and not overheat. Don’t worry if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool – that’s normal.

10. Make sure your baby’s carers know how to protect against SIDS and fatal sleep accidents
It’s best not to assume that others have knowledge of safe sleeping practices, even professional child carers. Reassure yourself by having a look at the planned sleeping arrangements, and satisfy yourself that your baby will be positioned for sleep correctly. For example, it isn’t recommended to leave a baby sleeping in a pram unsupervised.

Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/safe_sleeping.html/context/514

What is SIDS?

It is an acronym for “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”, which is a risk for babies who are under the age of one. With SIDS, a baby who seems perfectly healthy can go to sleep just like any other night — the difference is they never wake up. It’s most common in babies 6 months and younger – 90 percent of SIDS cases happen in this age group. Those most at risk for SIDS are babies between the ages of 1 and 4 months. SIDS is only confirmed after every other possible known cause is ruled out.

US Statistics:

  • Every year, about 3,500 infants die from sleep-related causes in the U.S.
  • Accidental suffocation for babies has increased by 300% from 1984 to 2004.
  • Babies are 40 times more likely to die from suffocation while sleeping in a grown-up’s bed.

Risk Factors For SIDS/SUIDS

There are certain conditions or factors that elevate the risk of SIDS and SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death). But keep in mind the overall RISK IS STILL VERY LOW.

  1. Premature birth
  2. Sleep safety: Remove any pillows, bumpers, blankets, or stuffed animals from your baby’s crib.
  3. Tobacco: When babies are around secondary smoke, their respiratory function isn’t as high as babies who aren’t around smoke.
  4. Delayed or inadequate prenatal care: Visiting your doctor for regular prenatal check-ups can help your child avoid SIDS and SUIDs because doctors will be able to spot any conditions that may cause premature labor.
  5. Alcohol and drugs.
  6. Gender: Boys have an increased risk of SIDS. Approximately three out of every five SIDS cases happen to boys.
  7. Recent respiratory infection: Some children affected by SIDS were known to have a viral illness right before they died. That leads researchers to believe there is a link to the two, especially because SIDS seems to be more prevalent during winter months when more respiratory illnesses are circulating.
  8. Young maternal age: Babies who are born to women under the age of 20 are more likely to have SIDS than babies born to older women. That risk climbs if a young mom has more than one child.
  9. Being unable to breastfeed: Babies who breastfeed are less likely to die from SIDS. Perhaps that’s because breastfed babies have less respiratory illnesses.
  10. Having multiples: Multiples, like twins or triplets, have an increased risk of SIDS because they often have low birth weight and premature birth.
  11. Genetics: Some babies who die from SIDS have an abnormality in the section of the brain that is linked to breathing, body temperature, and heart rate. That could be a matter of simple genetics or there could be something else influencing it.
  12. A room that’s too warn: If a room is too warm or a baby is overdressed, it may cause an increased metabolic rate in babies, which could cause them to lose control of their breathing.
  13. Skipping immunisations: Doing everything you can to avoid illnesses for your baby is a good starting point when it comes to avoiding SIDS. Getting the proper immunizations can help achieve that goal.

Recommendations Relating to Swaddles/Baby Sleeping Bags

1. Dress Your Baby Properly While Sleeping

Don’t keep your baby’s room too warm – they shouldn’t get overheated. Their room should be cool enough that you don’t feel hot when you go in there. A temperature of 68 degrees is good for sleeping. Use an approved sleep-sack or swaddle to help your baby sleep.

2. Stop Swaddling By 2 Months

Swaddling is when you wrap your baby tightly up in a blanket. If you do opt to swaddle your baby, you should stop by the time they are 2 months. You don’t want them rolling over and compromising their airways because they’re too tightly wrapped.

Sources:

https://momlovesbest.com/baby-sleep-safety

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep

https://www.babycenter.com/404_when-can-i-stop-worrying-about-sids_1368538.bc

https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/the-waiting-room/sleep-affects-infant-development-and-temperament/article/283466/

https://www.parents.com/baby/health/sids/new-ways-to-reduce-the-risk-of-sids/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999632/

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/sudden-infant-death-14-ways-parents-raise-the-risk/12/

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/brain-abnormality-found-group-sids-cases

Measures to promote a safe sleeping environment and to reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Conclusion: Strong indications for effectiveness

Effective measures to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are:

– Sleeping on the back

– Avoiding overheating and head covering in infants.

– Avoiding contact with smoking

– Breastfeeding.

– Avoiding sedatives in children.

– Avoiding alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth.

– Use of pacifiers.

Recommendations (for research & practice)

The effects of infant care practices on the incidence of SIDS are practicable and ethical. Continuous monitoring of SIDS cases and controls is recommended to assess the uptake and effectiveness of preventive measures. Continuous case-control monitoring would also ensure that new initiatives in baby care could be tested at the earliest possible stage.

Recommendations for practice include the following advice for parents, carers and health professionals:

– a baby should be placed to sleep on his/ her back rather than stomach or side

– a baby should be placed to sleep in a safe sleeping environment. This includes the use of a safety-approved crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet. Put the baby to sleep on a firm, flat mattress with no pillow or toys and only a fitted sheet under him/ her. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and other soft surfaces are hazardous when placed under the infant or in the sleeping environment.

– blankets should not be used. In cold conditions, the baby should be clothed in warmer clothing such as footed pyjamas or a cotton one-piece under a wearable blanket or sleep sack.

– bed sharing with a baby is not recommended. A baby should be placed in his/her own crib/bed. Room-sharing without bed-sharing is recommended.

– smoking during pregnancy, in the pregnant woman’s environment, and in the infant’s environment should be avoided.

– the use of alcohol or illicit drugs during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth should be avoided.

– breastfeeding is recommended.

– giving the baby medicines that induces dullness or sleepiness is not recommended..

– offering the baby a pacifier when he/she is placed to sleep is acceptable.

The measures mentioned above do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.

Source: http://www.eurosafe.eu.com/measures-to-promote-a-safe-sleeping-environment-and-to-reduce-the-risk-of-all-sleep-related-infant

  • Use a safe cot that meets the current standard in your country
  • Use a safe mattress: firm, clean, flat (not tilted or elevated), right size for the cot
  • Sleep baby on back, keeping the head and face uncovered
  • Position baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot
  • Tuck blankets in firmly or use a safe baby sleeping bag
  • Do not use pillows, doonas, soft toys, cot bumpers, or lambswools anywhere in the cot
  • Do not put your baby to sleep on a water bed or bean bag

Source: http://www.sidsandkids.org/wp-content/uploads/MakingUpCotEnglish.pdf

Using a baby sleeping bag can work as a cue for your baby that they are going down for a nap or for bedtime. It is a really good positive sleep association to develop.

Sleeping bags also help keep your baby at a regular temperature. Often babies wake in the night or early morning due to being too cold. We can sometimes misinterpret their waking for hunger or a settling issue and end up feeding or rocking or resettling our babies, which can in turn actually then create a waking habit (in babies older than 6 months). Using a baby sleeping bag can help make sure your baby stays nice and warm (and asleep!) all night long.

We recommend sleeping bags that are made of natural fibres – cotton, wool, bamboo, merino – as these are much much safer for your baby and will mean they won’t overheat (a risk factor for SIDS). Avoid using polar fleece or polyester/synthetic sleeping bags as these are quite dangerous, with zero breathability or temperature-regulating properties.

Having a room thermometer is good too, so you can make sure you are dressing baby in the right clothing for their room temperature.

Source: https://www.littleones.co/blogs/our-blog/sleeping-like-a-baby

In the first weeks of life, babies sleep for an average of 16-18 hours a day. Sleep cycles change over time. Usually newborns sleep for 2-4 hours at a time, wake up for a feed and short play, then drop off again.

In the early days, your baby might doze off constantly without a peep (unless he has colic). Newborns might fall asleep in a baby pouch, in a pram, a car baby capsule or in a bassinet.

Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/newborn_sleep_nutshell.html

It takes time to consolidate most of our sleep into the night-time. Babies and children vary in their sleep habits and sleep requirements, just like adults. It can be a good idea to have routine sleep times to stop your child getting overtired or sleepy during the day – see what works best for your child.

Under six months
Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night.

Babies aged 3-6 months might start moving towards a pattern of 2-3 daytime sleeps of up to two hours each. They might still wake at least once at night.

From 6-12 months
From about 6 months, babies have their longest sleep at night.

Between 6 and 12 months, most babies are in bed between 6 pm and 10 pm. They usually take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep (but about 10% of babies take longer).

Most babies can sleep for a period of 6 hours or more at night and are waking less. About 60% will wake only once during the night and need a grown-up to settle them back to sleep. About 1 in 10 will call out 3-4 times a night. More than a third of parents report problems with their baby’s sleep at this age.

Around 85-90% of infants aged 6-12 months are still having daytime naps. These naps usually last 1-2 hours. Some infants will sleep longer, but up to a quarter nap for less than an hour.

Waking at night is partly related to the child’s worry about being separated from a parent or parents. Overcoming this worry is normal and necessary for all children as a step towards becoming more independent at night.

From 12 months
From this age, children tend to sleep better. Some toddlers start to resist going to sleep at night, preferring to stay up with the family – this is the most common sleep problem reported by parents. It peaks around 18 months and improves with age.

Less than 5% of two-year-olds wake three or more times overnight.

Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/sleep_the_hows_and_whys.html

Tired signs: why they’re important

Children show they’re tired through changes in behaviour. For example, your child might be suddenly irritable, overactive or demanding.

It’s important to look for your child’s ‘tired signs’. This can help you reduce stimulation and start settling your child before overtiredness sets in.

Newborns: tired signs

Newborn babies will probably get overtired if they’ve been awake for more than 1-1½ hours. At 3-6 months, your baby will be overtired after 1½-3 hours awake.

If your newborn is tired, you might see some of the following tired signs:

  • pulling at ears
  • closing fists
  • fluttering eyelids
  • jerky arm and leg movements
  • yawning
  • a worried look on your child’s face
  • arching backwards
  • difficulty focusing – your baby might even go cross-eyed or seem to be staring into space
  • sucking on fingers – this could be a good sign and might mean that your baby is trying to find ways to settle to sleep.

Babies and toddlers: tired signs

At 6-12 months, your baby will be overtired after 2-3 hours awake. At 12-18 months, your baby will be overtired if he misses out on his morning or afternoon sleep.

If your baby or toddler is tired, you might see some of the following tired signs:

  • clumsiness
  • clinginess
  • grizzling
  • crying
  • demands for constant attention
  • boredom with toys
  • fussiness with food.
Grizzling and crying can mean your child is absolutely exhausted, but it’s often hard to tell the difference between tired grizzling and hungry grizzling.

Reducing stimulation

If your child is showing signs of tiredness, you can reduce stimulation by:

  • taking your child to the place where she usually sleeps
  • putting toys away
  • talking quietly and soothingly
  • closing curtains and blinds
  • turning overhead lights off – use lamps if you need to
  • playing music quietly – this will help cut down on background noise.

Making quiet time

Some quiet time before bed will help your child settle to sleep:

  • Give your child some quiet time in the place where he usually sleeps.
  • Calm your child with a gentle cuddle or by reading a story or singing a quiet song.
  • Your child might need only a few minutes of quiet time before she’s relaxed and ready to be put in bed. If your household is noisy and active, your child might need some extra quiet time before it’s time for sleep.

Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/is_my_child_tired.html/context/730

Getting enough sleep is important for all of us, but it’s especially vital for a baby. It’s when the blood supply for their muscles grows, repair and growth of tissues takes place, and the body releases key hormones for development and growth.

Sleep, or the lack of it, can impact a baby’s temperament, central nervous system and brain maturation, and even their cognitive abilities.

Because they are growing and developing so rapidly, babies need a lot of sleep. By the time they reach 2 years old, children will have slept 40 percent of their life.

Sources:

https://momlovesbest.com/baby-sleep-safety

https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/the-waiting-room/sleep-affects-infant-development-and-temperament/article/283466/

Light and baby sleep

Try dimming the lights as you get your baby ready for bed. In the daytime, closing blinds or curtains will help baby sleep.

By darkening the room, you reduce the amount of stimulation around your baby, which will help calm and settle your child. A darkened room also tells baby that it’s time for rest.

Once your baby is in bed, baby will sleep better if the amount of light in the room is the same.

Noise and baby sleep

Children can sleep with some noise. Your child doesn’t need an absolutely silent room to sleep.

But it’s easier for baby to go to sleep when noise levels are kept consistent. If baby falls asleep to noise, hearing less noise might wake baby up. Or a sudden loud noise might wake your baby.

Tips for managing light and noise

  • Do what you can to block out sudden outside noise. You could shut the windows and doors, hang heavier curtains or a blanket, or put a draft blocker under the door.
  • Consistent low-level noise, such as playing a radio quietly in baby’s room, can also block out sudden noises. If you’re worried your baby might come to depend on music playing all the time, try turning it off every now and then as your child’s sleeping pattern becomes more established.
  • You can set up a source of white noise – tune the radio to static, for example. A fan is also a good source of white noise.
  • Morning light entering the room, and the noise of traffic or other early risers, might be enough to wake your baby. So if you want baby to sleep longer, thicker curtains and closed windows might be the answer.
If you use a source of white noise, place it well away from your baby’s ears and keep the volume low. This protects your child’s hearing.

Sleep Medical Research

The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, Australia, and funded by The Woolmark Company, explored the impact of wool bedding and sleepwear on sleep quality and quantity in adults. The three-year study measured total sleep time and sleep efficiency – the portion of time spent asleep compared to the total time in bed – across 17 participants, and found that wool bedding and wool sleepwear are beneficial to a good night’s sleep.

Consistent with earlier science findings, the early results from a study undertaken by the University of Sydney, Australia, are showing that wool sleeping apparel and bedding increases total sleep time, promotes sleep onset and improves sleep efficiency.

Science is also showing that merino wool assists those suffering from chronic skin conditions, and challenges misconceptions that wool is ‘prickly’ and ‘itchy’.

Source: https://www.woolmark.com/education/health/a-better-nights-sleep/

Research conducted on jaundiced newborns revealed that those sleeping on wool were more settled when sleeping compared to those on cotton – spending 8 per cent more time without minor movements, 14 per cent less time performing major movements, and crying less (about 30 per cent of babies on wool cried compared with 67 per cent on cotton).

Sources: http://www.woolmark.com/news-events/news/wool-bedding-found-to-improve-sleep/

http://www.iwto.org/sites/default/files/files/iwto_resource/file/IWTO_Fact%20Sheets_Wool%20%26%20Sleep_0.pdf

Wearing wool pyjamas could be more effective at tackling insomnia than counting sheep, research suggests.

The body can be kept in the “thermal comfort zone” most conducive to restful sleep by wearing wool, Australian scientists said.

In a study of students in their 20s, they nodded off four minutes faster on average when wearing pyjamas made from merino wool rather than cotton, taking 11 minutes instead of 15. They also enjoyed an extra seven minutes of sleep per night.

Adults aged 65 to 70 got to sleep even faster when wearing woollen PJs, falling asleep after 12 minutes compared with 22 and 27 minutes for people wearing polyester or cotton.

Researcher Dr Paul Swan, from the University of Sydney, said: “Not so long ago sleeping under wool bedding was the norm, and science is now rediscovering the benefits of sleeping in wool.

“Maybe it is not a coincidence because wool regulates your body temperature far better, keeping you in what is known as ‘the thermal comfort zone’. You therefore not only fall asleep quicker, sleep longer, but also have deeper, better quality sleep.”

“Enjoying good sleep has become increasingly difficult in modern times, and so anything that helps is great for your mental and physical health.”

The research in Australia was carried out over periods of nine and four night, involving 17 students and 36 older adults. Participants were put to bed in British-level night-time termpeatures of 17C (62.6F).

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/wool-pyjamas-help-people-fall-asleep-15-minutes-faster-scientists-find-11522933

Consistent with earlier science findings, the early results from a study undertaken by the University of Sydney, Australia, are showing that wool sleeping apparel and bedding increases total sleep time, promotes sleep onset and improves sleep efficiency.

In hot (29° Celsius) conditions, wearing wool sleepwear saw participants in the study sleep significantly longer, reflecting faster sleep onset and waking up less frequently. In both cold (17° Celsius) and neutral (22° Celsius) conditions, the combination of wool sleepwear and bedding saw participants have a more efficient sleep compared to when tested using non-wool sleepwear and bedding.

Sources: https://www.woolmark.com/education/health/a-better-nights-sleep/

Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, is approaching epidemic levels in Western nations, with more than 25% of all children born in Australia having a degree of eczema. Sufferers of the condition have dysfunctional skin that dries out, which leads to the skin cracking, bacterial infection, redness, scratching and itching.

However, in positive news for the wool industry, two recent dermatology trials – funded by The Woolmark Company – have shown that infant and adult sufferers of eczema have reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin.

Study 1: clinical trial of infants with eczema (MCRI, Melbourne)

A study of approximately 40 babies and young children under 3 years old, at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, showed significant advantages of superfine Merino wool base-layers over cotton in improving the symptoms of eczema. In the study half the children wore 100% superfine Merino wool for six weeks before changing over to cotton, with the remaining children starting in cotton before switching over to Merino wool after six weeks.

“We found that wearing superfine Merino wool led to an overall greater improvement in eczema, when compared with wearing outfits made of cotton,” said Associate Professor John Su.

“This finding challenges prevalent beliefs in the lay and medical communities, as well as findings from older, less rigorously performed studies from the mid-1950s, when coarser diameter and heavier wool garments were used.

“Skin irritation from any fibre type partly relates to the diameter of fibres. While wool can have many fibre diameters, only low diameter (superfine) Merino wool garments were used in the MCRI study.

“When comparing Merino with cotton, there are also other inherent differences in fibre properties: Merino’s greater ability to transfer moisture vapour and heat than the other major apparel fibres enable it to maintain a more stable microclimate between the skin and the garment.”

[…] Featured in the news report were Rheannan Williams and her 2-year-old daughter who suffers from eczema.

“The eczema was red, painful and blistery,” Rheannan said. “But within two to three weeks of wearing wool it was unbelievable… her skin is clear… I would 100% recommend it, it’s amazing.”

The trials have been conducted using lightweight, 150 gram per square metre superfine Merino wool garments with a micron range finer than 18.6 microns.

Program Manager of Fibre Advocacy and Eco Credentials with The Woolmark Company, Angus Ireland, says the studies demonstrate a strong role for superfine Merino in fostering healthy skin and managing eczema.

“The traditional advice to indiscriminately avoid wool against the skin, based on early commentaries that failed to distinguish between wool fibre types, can now be modified to include superfine Merino as a recommended next-to-skin clothing choice.

“It’s interesting to note that, prior to the QIDerm study, most patients say they couldn’t tolerate wool and many believed they were allergic to wool. However, we didn’t have a single patient withdraw from the study due to any types of intolerance of these superfine wools.

“The results from the dermatological research are extremely encouraging and provide a significant opportunity for Merino wool. The findings are potentially not only profound for sufferers of this debilitating and potentially life-long condition, but also for the wool industry.”

The fact that the Brisbane-based study was undertaken throughout the city’s hot and humid summer conditions, also shows that low-micron lightweight wool garments are suitable for all seasons.

Source: https://www.woolmark.com/education/health/close-contact/

A highly esteemed group of medical professionals from across the world have reviewed research papers published during the past 100 years to critically assess scientific studies claiming wool causes allergy. A new analysis found no evidence that wool is an allergen, and if a fabric does cause any sensations of itch and prickle on the skin then it is because of the large diameter of the fibres and not due to the fibre type being wool.

More details can be read on the link below.

Source: https://www.woolmark.com/education/health/debunking-the-myth-that-wool-is-an-allergen/

The use of baby sleep bags has increased dramatically within the British population over the last decade. Parents report that sleep bags are a convenient alternative to traditional bedding, and help their babies sleep better by preventing them from kicking off blankets and becoming cold during the night. Such use is also supported by a study that suggested that their use is a preventative factor against SIDS (L’Hoir et al 1998) (possibly due to reduced potential for excess bedding and head covering, as might occur when traditional blankets, sheets or duvets are used), and by some advisory bodies including the Lullaby Trust.

Since the 1980s there has been considerable scientific interest in the relationship between infant thermal environments and the risk of SIDS. A number of case-control studies conducted prior to the Back to Sleep campaign demonstrated that infants whose deaths were designated as SIDS tended to be exposed to greater insulation from more bedding (thicker or more layers), clothing, and higher ambient temperature than control infants. They also suggested the rate of SIDS was significantly higher during the winter months due to changes in thermal care practices during these months (e.g. Fleming et al 1990; Ponsonby et al 1992). Excessive bedding or high ambient room temperature and head covering may affect various aspects of infant physiology, with potentially negative consequences.

Source: https://www.isisonline.org.uk/hcp/sleep_and_health/sleep_aids/sleep_bags/

Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Babies shouldn’t share a bed with parents. Sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed, may reduce babies’ risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent;
  • The safest spot for infant sleep is on a firm surface such as a crib or bassinet without any soft bedding, bumpers or pillows;
  • Parents need to make sure that everyone taking care of their baby follows the A-B-Cs of safe sleep. Their infant should always be placed to sleep ‘A’ Alone, with no bed sharing or objects in the sleep area, ‘B’ on their back, and ‘C’ in a crib or bassinet only.

Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-sids-prevention-idUKKCN12O262

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