Sleep deprived parents may disagree, but there seems to be an upside to having a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night. It may be hard to see the positive part through the yawning and loss of sanity after many sleepless nights with an infant, but researchers have found a link between a baby’s inability to sleep through the night and intelligence. And they’re saying non-sleeping babies are potentially smarter than those who snooze for hours and hours at night.
Peter Fleming, a professor of infant health from the University of Bristol in the U.K. has made the correlation and he says it’s more natural for babies to wake up often. “Human infants are not designed to sleep for long periods, it’s not good for them, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is any benefit to anybody from having a child that sleeps longer and consistently,” he explains. “There’s a link between very high levels of developmental and intellectual achievement and not sleeping throughout the night.”
Fleming says babies tend to love to sleep during the day and want to be awake most from 6 p.m. to midnight, because that’s when they get more attention from their primary caregivers, since there are fewer distractions at that time. So he says from a biological point of view, what the little bundle of joy is doing is normal and logical, it just doesn’t fit in with our modern-day expectations. And he gets it, admitting, this news is probably not “what most parents would like to hear.”