Sunday, February 27, 2011

Invest in nightlights (Change 107)

My kids have terrific imaginations.  They are bright, creative, intelligent - able to see the most amazing things in the most ordinary places.  It also means there are lots of bogeymen in the dark.

For about a year now, we've been letting them fall asleep with their lights on.  It seems to calm the fear of the dark and allows us to avoid repeated trips upstairs to check for monsters under the bed.  However, we don't always turn the light off once they fall asleep.  Sometimes we're watching TV or on the computer, and lose track of time.  The overhead light burns merrily away, the hydro meter whirling in happy abandon.

I've also wondered about how leaving the lights on is affecting their sleeping habits.  Recent articles in the paper have suggested that any light during sleep is detrimental to melatonin levels.  I can't imagine that leaving overhead lights on are helping them achieve a restful REM sleep.

I recently invested in nightlights for the kids.  They are battery operated with rechargeable batteries.  This means they don't sit plugged in, drawing power, when not in use.  Because they are battery operated, I don't have to plug them in to operate them - just to recharge.  I've also noticed since I've started using these nightlights, that the kids are waking up less grumpy in the morning.  They seem to sleep better, with fewer trips downstairs or to our room in the middle of the night.

I'm using less power, and my kids are getting a better night's sleep.  What more could a mom ask for?


  1. I am so glad you mader the connection of the lights on all night and decreased melatonin levels. As someone who has struggled with insommnia on and off all my life, the simple task of keeping my bedroom totally dark and q-u-i-e-t has been tantamount. We humans were designed to go to bed at sundown and rise at sunlight, but in out modern society with all its 24/7 lights, our inner rhythms are all messed up.
    Speaking of which, timwe to power down, turn off the 'puter and go to bed! :-)

  2. I always had that problem as a kid. I would wake up with my imagination whirling and creating all kinds of monsters so I had a nightlight also. When I slept with the light on I always did wake up grumpier and it took longer for me to wake up, which still happens since college is never easy on a person. It was very interesting about the melatonin levels I will have to look into it. I was also inspired by "Sleeping Naked is Green" when I read it. I am attempting my own challenge, though it will be vastly different than your own since you are a mom and I am a poor college student who has to work around living with roommates. Good luck on your challenge, you are also an inspiration!

  3. Deb, your comment about insomnia is interesting. DH has this problem on occaision, and I think that having a street light in front of our bedroom window is not helping. I really need to invest in proper curtains (not just mini-blinds) for the window.

    Rebecca, let me know if you blog about your challenge. I'd love to read about what you are doing.