Are night lights really good for our kids or should we be encouraging them to sleep in the dark? Research shows that the question is not quite that simple. In fact, it’s all depends on the amount and quality of sleep your kids are getting.
It’s not unusual for young children to sleep with a night light, and there are certainly advantages for both parents and children. For parents, it means that you can peek into their room and see how they are doing without waking them by turning on a harsh light. For kids, it’s often about security. Dark shadows can terrify some little ones.
When Night Lights are Valuable
Night lights may make it easier for your child to fall asleep. They create a more calming atmosphere at bedtime, which can stave off nightmares and night terrors. Although night terrors can occur any age, children between the ages of 2 and 6 are most prone to them. Generally, children grow out of needing a night light on their own.
Promoting Good Sleep Habits
In many cases, you can help your children to sleep better (with or without a night light) by having a good wind-down bedtime routine. This will relax them and prepare them for the fact that it’s time to sleep. Avoid excessive stimulation (such as watching television) and focus on calming activities, like reading a story.
Teens may find that when they reach puberty, they have the urge to stay up longer. This is normal, but they may end up being sleep deprived as their body’s rhythm may go out of whack. The light from televisions or computer screens may also disturb their sleep. The answer? Not a night light, but a short period outside in the morning light before school starts, according to an article on Science News. This gets the body clock restarted and will help to address sleep problems.
This was a guest post by Lior who is a marketing consultant for Milk, a nursing wear brand.