crying to sleep

Laura J Miller ljmiller at
Sat Jan 25 15:32:54 EST 1997

Does anyone have any information on the effects
of crying to sleep and sleep quality/brain chemistry?
I must be looking in the wrong place but I can't
seem to find any research in this area.

My reason for asking is that there seems to be
a very strong belief in this culture that babies
should be left to "cry it out" in order to force
them to fall asleep on their own.  As a neuroscientist
and a mom, I have trouble believing that that is
healthy, either psychologically (abandonment issues)
or physically (isn't it releasing an awful lot of
stress hormones and wouldn't that affect sleep
quality and brain development?  Especially at such
a sensitive age).

Please no knee-jerk responses from those who have let
their children cry to sleep.  I am asking for a scientific answer.


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