Is It Lights Out Time For Your Kids?

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.

When to Avoid Night Lights
For some children, though, it’s just the opposite. Having a night light might actually stop them from falling asleep. If that’s the case with your child, then it’s time to say goodbye to the night light, as sleep deprivation can have all sorts of undesirable consequences.
Not only do sleep deprived children appear sleepy at inappropriate times during the day, but it may also affect their attention span. This will make it harder for them to concentrate in school and will mean their school work will suffer. In addition, children who don’t get enough sleep may be hyperactive or irritable. Try doing without a night light and see if this has a positive effect on your child. If their sleep remains disturbed, then check to make sure they don’t have a sleeping disorder.

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.

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.