Why Shouldn't Babies Sleep with the Lights On?

Why Shouldn't Babies Sleep with the Lights On?

The debate about whether or not babies should sleep with the lights on is a heated one.

One side argues that it's important for parents to see and hear their babies when they wake up to feed them, while the other side says it may keep children from sleeping soundly.

However, if we look at different researchers, there is conclusive evidence that sleeping with the lights off is much better than doing the opposite.

If you are one of those parents who fear that the darkness might lead to unprecedented consequences for the child, this article will address all your woes.

So read on!

Different types of lights that can impact sleeping pattern

Infants are affected by what surrounds them, now more than ever.

The lights that surround them affect an infant's sleep patterns and brain development.

Light stimulation is important for newborns to help their brains develop correctly. However, it can cause harm as well.

Different wavelengths of light can have a different effect on infants, ranging from encouraging the production of melatonin to early stimulation and development of the brain and body.

There are different types of lights and each one comes with its own characteristics.

For example, blue light is found in sunlight and many modern devices such as TVs, smartphones and tablets.

Blue light stimulates the brain and can delay sleepiness thus suppressing melatonin production for a longer time, which affects circadian rhythms that play an important role in developing brains.

Parents should limit their infants' exposure to screens that emit blue light, especially before bedtime.

On the contrary, white light has a neutral impact on infants and does not affect melatonin production. However, it can trigger seizures in epileptic infants.

The harmful effect of blue light on newborn baby

We have discussed the impact of different lights on a newborn baby but since blue light is most commonly found, let's discuss it in more detail.

Blue light, which comes from electronic devices such as television, computer and even mobile phones, has a very harmful effect on newborn babies which can destroy retina cells and lead to loss of eyesight in the long run.

LED lights that emit blue light have a greater effect than normal fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.

Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone. During sleep, people require a dark environment for a good night's sleep and blue light from electronic devices is known to affect this process.

Many researchers have found that Retina in the human eye is more sensitive to Blue light compared to other wavelengths of light. 

Advantages for babies to sleep with the lights off

Now we know how different lights can adversely impact the brain and eyesight of a child, it is better to sleep the baby with the lights off.

A study of 476 children aged between 2 and 16 years of age was conducted by Scheie Eye Institute in Pennsylvania and found that children- 2 years old- who sleep with the lights turned on, are five-time more likely to have weak eyesight than those who sleep in complete darkness.

Another advantage to babies sleeping in complete darkness is that it may promote healthy sleep patterns and rhythms (and help the baby fall asleep on their own). 

This means they may not rely on bright lights, TV or music to fall asleep at night which can eventually make bedtime routines a bit easier. 

Not to forget that avoiding the devices will protect the baby from harmful Blue rays.

Is my baby too young to sleep in complete darkness?

This is the most common concern by parents who want to protect their children from light at night.

As with most decisions surrounding you and your baby's routine, it is ultimately your decision whether or not to have your newborn sleep in complete darkness.

However, as discussed earlier, it is in the best interest of the baby to sleep with lights turned completely off.

If you are uncomfortable having your baby sleep in complete darkness, it may also be a good idea to have dim lights around the house as discussed earlier.

But remember not to completely turn on the lights.

This can help transition them into sleeping with the lights off (and become less reliant on bright lights to fall asleep for naps and at night).

Another option is to use a night light, but it comes with a slew of drawbacks ( you can find more information on the disadvantages of night light later in the article).

When should babies start sleeping in complete darkness? 

It's never too soon to start introducing your baby to dim lights, but it is probably a good idea not to have them sleep with the lights off until they are at least several weeks old.

Their eyesight isn't developed well enough before this age so being in complete darkness can be slightly frightening for them. 

However, it can be done earlier if you are comfortable with having your newborn sleep in complete darkness at an early age.

Remember- every baby is different and it's always best to follow their own routine for sleeping patterns, naps, etc.  

How can you help your baby sleep better without turning the lights on?

We understand that it might be difficult to keep your baby in complete darkness the first time they are trying to sleep. The baby might freak due to the sudden darkness.

Therefore, we have shared 6 ways in which you can ensure that the baby has a good night's sleep without the lights being turned on.

  1. Turn off your phones and tablets before you place them in the room with your baby. These can have a malfunctioning effect on sleep patterns.
  2. If necessary, invest in blackout curtains or blinds to ensure that no light enters the room where your baby is sleeping.
  3. Give your baby something to help them relax before going to bed such as comfort food, rocking, or giving them a massage.
  4. Ensure you make the room where your baby is sleeping is comfortable for them by using things like soft and breathable fabrics for their bedding.
  5. Make sure the surroundings in the room are pleasant for your baby and inviting to sleep in.
  6. Make sure your baby is sleeping on their back to avoid the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Disadvantages of using a night light

A nightlight is a small, often portable light fixture placed for comfort in dark spaces such as hallways and bathrooms.

It emits low levels of blue or red light that help to reduce the anxiety of children afraid of the dark.

You might be tempted to use night light with your baby so that they aren't scared of the dark. A night light can only protect against some forms of fear, however, and may actually worsen others.

If your baby is afraid of the dark and would benefit from a nightlight, there are some disadvantages you should be aware of:

  1. Night lights mask the natural dark conditions your baby's body needs to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps them get to sleep and stay asleep.
  2. If your baby gets used to having a night light on all the time, they will be afraid of waking up in darkness during power outages or when staying with family members where there isn't always a  nightlight.
  3. Some night lights are quite bright, which can be harmful to your baby's eyesight. If they are exposed to lots of bright light before they go to sleep, their body may believe it is still daytime and delay the release of melatonin. This can make it more difficult for them to get a good night's sleep.

 

Use myHummy for a perfect night sleep for your baby

Among all the above-mentioned products for your child's perfect sleep, myhummy device is one of the best you can come across.

myHummy isn't something new to the market but more than 800,000 children around the world are having a peaceful sleep due to this product.

The reason it is so successful is that it produces the same white and pink sound as the baby heard in the mother's womb. The voice calms them and puts them to sleep in a jiffy.

Apart from that, myHummy produces three other relaxing sounds such as ocean waves, rainfall, and amniotic fluid with a beating heart.

Each of the 5 sounds plays for 60 minutes and you can control the volume as per your convenience.

The best part is that myHummy doesn't come with any light so you can be sure that the room is completely dark- unless you are using night light or dim lights.

To make it work, you have to connect the myHumming sound device with your smartphone.

Visit www.myhummy.co.uk  for more details or to place your order.

Complete darkness is the way forward

As you can see, there are many reasons why your baby should sleep in complete darkness.

They lack the ability to produce melatonin and their body is more sensitive to light than an adult's would be. The best way for them to get enough restful sleep is by sleeping with no lights on at all.

Some people might think that it'll take too long for a newborn baby to become accustomed to total darkness so early on but according to research, this isn't true because they need time just as much as adults do!

Babies should start sleeping without any lights being turned on around 2 months old or when they start rolling over themselves at night which usually happens around 4-5 months of age!