Does a Night light help you sleep?
A night light has many advantages. It helps guide you to the bathroom at night and helps the kids feel safer with all the monsters under the bed. But does it really help you sleep better? The short answer is, no.
Having a light on while you’re asleep can interfere with the production of Melatonin in the body. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your internal clock and circadian rhythms. The presence of light in your room when you’re asleep confuses your brain as to what time it is. This results in lighter sleep and worse mornings. Being exposed to light throughout the night is also connected to depression and increased cancer risk. Keep in mind, it’s just linked, there’s no solid evidence that it results in a greater chance of cancer though.
Still need the light on? Can’t sleep without it?
Our advice would be to look into different types of bulbs to use as your night light, and to keep the light as far away from your bed as possible. Closer to the bathroom if you need the light for that, or closer to your switchboard if that’s what you use your light for. Just as far away from your eyes as possible. As for the lights you can use, different coloured bulbs can have different effects on your sleep and health. Blue lights are definitely a no-no, as blue lights are the worst kind for your mood and sleep. White lights aren’t too great either. Red lights, however, have been found to be the least intrusive to your sleep, so red bulbs for your night light may be something you want to look into. Try using different intensities of lights over a long period of time to see which one suits you best. Again, the lesser the better, but you’ve got a little more headroom with red light as opposed to other colours.
What about the light in my nursery/baby’s bedroom?
Babies naturally have more Melatonin released in their bodies, as they need the sleep for growth. This decision is based on you as an individual though. Your baby might feel calmer or less anxious with a light on while they’re sleeping. You might find it more comfortable to check up on your baby at night with the night light on as opposed to turning the bulb on and risk disturbing your baby. Eventually, the decision is up to you, because the presence of a night light isn’t going to affect your baby’s sleep as much as it might yours. Consider this though; your baby has spent a long time in the dark (the womb), so the dark might not scare your baby as much as you might assume it to.