Night Lights “Yay or Nay”?
So the big question is should we be using night lights in the bedroom?
My answer is simple, keep your sleep environment as dark as possible, closest to pitch black is best.
By using a light during the night you are interfering with your melatonin levels and confusing the brain into producing cortisol at the wrong time. This causes extra waking through the night, difficulties in resettling between sleep cycles and restless sleep.
Light is one of the main elements that help with setting our natural sleep patterns. Cortisol, a stress hormone which keeps us awake, is released during periods of brightness mainly while exposed to sunlight and on the reverse melatonin is released as the environment around us begins to darken in the evening. Rewind to a time when electricity didn’t exist and we would find ourselves becoming sleepy as the sun would set for the day…today this would mean around 6 pm!!!!!
Yes, that’s right, we are completely missing the mark when it comes to our natural bedtime and this is all due to our modern day ways.
Artificial lighting helps lengthen our days yet it affects our natural sleeping rhythms. So my advice is the darker the sleep environment, the stronger the levels of melatonin which will promote the deepest and most restorative sleep.
Now, if you are still wondering about using a light in your baby’s nursery for safety and peace of mind, I can recommend using a dim warm light placed low on the floor or just below your baby’s headspace. Turn it on during feeds and nappy changes or you may even try a red light globe throughout the night, which can help with visibility and in addition, it has been found to have health benefits to boost melatonin. The Glow dreaming has become a very popular sleep aid for its use of red light therapy together with white noise, aromatherapy and a humidifier to help children and even adults sleep well through the night. This little sleep aid is super cute, a great gift for any nursery!
Please do steer away from cool toned lights or bulbs in the colours blue, green or whites during sleep. They trick the brain into staying awake hence why the use of electrical devices is a big ‘NO-NO’ just before sleep.
Wishing you sweet dreams and a restful night…
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