The best kind of lighting for children to sleep through the night and grow as they should is none at all. Why is this so? It’s simple—research has found that children’s eyes let more light in comparison to adults. Exposure to bright light just before sleep time can throw their body clocks out of rhythm.
A healthy circadian rhythm—our biological body clocks—is crucial for children’s overall development. If that is disturbed, your child will develop a weak immune system. Not only that, he or she will develop slower thinking and other physiological and behavioural changes. That’s why it’s imperative to keep your child’s room dark to help them sleep on time.
Your child’s night light could be ruining their sleep. It’s more harmful to your child’s sleeping pattern than you might think. Dimmed lights may have less of an impact, but they do, nevertheless, yield results. Night lights often contain blue lights, and blue lighting is what is often emitted by the screens of tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
Have you ever noticed that going to sleep is harder immediately after using an electronic device? Chances are that it’s because of the blue lighting, which is one of the things affecting the quality and quantity of your child’s sleep.
Here’s an infographic on the effects of blue light on children’s health and sleep, rounding up this post if you prefer visuals:
Detrimental effects of blue lights on a child’s health
Blue light alters a human being’s circadian rhythm to a greater extent than any other type of light. Good blue light rays are perfectly fine during the daytime as they boost attention, improve mood, and increase reaction times. After the sun goes down, however, children no longer need stimulation. Rather, they need to rest. Exposure to harmful blue light could be doing the very opposite.
When a child is exposed to the blue wavelengths even after dark, the light tricks their mind into thinking that it is daytime. Stimulated children will have a difficult time falling asleep. The increased neurological activity due to the blue light will disrupt their body’s natural clock, starting a ripple effect that is detrimental to a child’s health.
The light that streams into your bedroom after you throw the curtains open helps your brain to boost cortisol production in the morning. This hormone helps you to stay alert and awake in the daytime. When it gets dark, the reduced light passing your eyes sends a signal to your brain to release melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone that makes you drowsy. Blue lights, however dim, will prevent the secretion of melatonin.
Scientists have also discovered that some sensors in the human eye send information to that part of the brain that regulates the sleeping pattern. These sensors that tell your body to sleep are the most sensitive to blue light. This is how your child’s exposure to blue light damages the circadian rhythm.
How harmful blue light at night is
Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of blue light because their eyes and their neurons are still sensitive. When you see your child awake at 1:00 a.m., don’t be too quick to blame his sugary snack. Perhaps your little one was unnaturally stimulated by the blue lighting that surrounds him. This will make him sleepy during the daytime, preventing him from functioning as normally as possible.
If your child fails to meet the required hours of sleep, he will be irritable, forgetful, stressed, unmotivated, and slow in learning. All these things can lead to depression and anxiety. A child should sleep after the sun goes down and wake when the sun rises. Ensuring that your child gets proper sleep on a regular basis is critical to his or her overall well-being.
Here are some top tips for sleep-friendly lighting in your child’s life:
- Prohibit screen time three hours before sleeping.
- Replace bathroom lights with battery-operated orange-coloured lights.
- Dim lighting in the entire house and close blinds after sunset.
- Have your child take a nap shortly after eating lunch.
- Opt for red nightlights if your child is afraid of the dark.
Blue light can be unhealthy and have repercussions on your child that go beyond their schooling. If your child is continually up into the wee hours of the night, he or she is on the path of living a life of poor quality. There are some things you can do to avoid a blue light-induced poor sleeping pattern, starting with the tips above!
Ocushield provides blue light protection devices for your child’s health and sleep, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.