Sleep is incredibly important, in many ways, it’s as important to our bodies as food. We all need it to properly function, but we rarely get enough of it – and children are no different. And just like us adults, developing poor sleep habits over the long term can have some pretty serious negative consequences, impacting general and mental health, which can slow or stunt growth and development in young children.
For kids, sleep can be impacted by all sorts of things, from the negative impact of blue light from iPads before bedtime to a fear of the dark. There are many things to be mindful of to help your tiny tots get the sleep they need to function at their best in daycare, nursery, or preschool.
In this post, we take a closer look at night lights – looking into the benefits they can offer and why having one can potentially make a world of difference to your child’s sleep. We’ll also delve into some of the problems a lack of sleep can cause and what you can do as a parent to help minimize or get rid of these problems altogether to get your child the best possible quality of sleep, getting their busy day ahead off to the right start.
6 benefits of night lights that help kid’s sleep better
So, without further ado, here are our picks of 6 of the biggest and best reasons you should consider investing in a night light for your little one’s bedroom.
1. They can have a positive impact on sleep and brain development
Growing bodies need good amounts of sleep to grow, making sleep incredibly important for young children. And just like the rest of the body, our brains are no different – with sleep being shown to play a huge part in healthy brain development.
It’s much easier to learn – for both kids and grown-ups alike – if we’re well-rested, feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning after having a great night’s sleep. Without proper or adequate sleep, your child’s performance at nursery, preschool, or after-school clubs is going to dive, making it much harder to be productive during the day.
This makes it incredibly important not to underestimate the positive impact and role that sleep plays in brain and normal child development, and equally, just how negative not getting the right amount of sleep can be.
2. They make navigating through a dark bedroom easier and safer
There’s not much worse than quietly working your way through the house, lights off, just to stub your toe on a discarded toy laying on the floor. It’s not just something that can hurt you and disturb others at wake other people up at home; it can also be dangerous, especially if your little one has a similar run-in on a midnight trip to the bathroom.
This is where a night light can be handy, offering a way of dimly lighting a room enough for you to be able to make out and navigate all of its various obstacles without having to turn on a light and wake everyone up. Depending on the size of your home, or how hazardous your route is – say you live in a house with too many stairs or have older kids who like to leave their things everywhere and anywhere – it’s a good idea to invest in not just one, but a few different night lights.
They’re especially beneficial for parents of babies, who need to make frequent night-time visits to tend to their little ones – whether feeding them, changing diapers or dinosaur crib bedding after an accident, or just getting them back to sleep when they wake up. Making sure you not only have a clear path through the baby’s room or nursery but also a lit path is going to help you out more than anything else during the night.
3. Get help develop sleep routines and reinforce positive sleep habits
Sleep routines are incredibly important for children. Getting them into a good one as young and as early as possible will help them tremendously as they progress through schooling and later life, developing sleeping habits that will last a lifetime. And it’s not only good habits that matter; the National Sleep Foundation has found that poor sleeping habits can directly impact mental and physical development – something that can have a huge, detrimental effect.
This means that as parents, you’ll want to do whatever you can to promote and reinforce positive sleep habits, making reducing and limiting any feelings of fear or stress before bedtime an essential component of any good sleep routine. While you might not think much of it as a grown-up, something as simple as a pitch-black room could be stressful to a young child, leaving them feeling anxious, which, in turn, can make it more difficult to get to sleep.
It’s precisely issues like these that a dinosaur night light is ideally suited for. They can help keep your child more at ease as they go to sleep on their own by adding some low levels of light to their room. This can result in better, more consistent sleep patterns and well-rested children ready for what the day of nursery, preschool or junior school has in store for them during the day ahead.
4. Can be comforting, helping children to sleep on their own
Many children require some comforting before they fall asleep – this could be a story before bed or as simple as a kiss and a cuddle before you send them off to their rooms for the night. For other kids, it can be trickier – with these waking up often, crying, and looking to sneak into bed with mommy and daddy, disrupting everyone’s sleep throughout the house. For young children especially, the dark can be a huge contributing factor to these issues.
It’s very common for young children between the ages of 2 and 4 to develop nyctophobia – otherwise known as a fear of the dark. Around this time, they also start to have more vivid dreams, leading to the occasional nightmare. These are both things a night light can help with, having a calming, reassuring effect.
Having a night light means that when they wake up, it will be far easier for them to get back to sleep in what is instantly recognizable as a familiar environment. The last thing you want is for them to hop into mommy and daddy’s bed every time they wake up, as this is something that research has found is counterproductive to the development of healthy sleep habits.
5. They make nightly diaper changes or trips to the potty easier, without disturbing everyone in the house
For families with young babies, a night light is an absolute must – giving them a way of navigating their little one’s bedroom and helping them to complete frequent night-time diaper changes without waking up the baby or others in the house.
Similarly, this is also the case for toddlers who are potty training – giving these tiny tots a way of finding their way to the bathroom without needing to turn on a light, sparing everyone else in the home from being disturbed while they sleep.
One tip for parents of toddlers going through the potty-training process is to invest in a couple of night lights for use in the hallway – not just the bedroom – helping to light up the entire way, from bed to bathroom.
6. They can have multiple uses, being great as a reading light, for ambient lighting, or just home decoration
Night lights don’t have just to be night lights – why limit yourself?! These handy accessories can be just as good as dinosaur lamps, perfect for reading or add an element of ambient light or decoration, pretty much anywhere around the home.
Another great thing about night lights these days is that so many of them are rechargeable, using a USB cable, making them incredibly portable, being just as good away or outside the home as they are indoors.
Going camping and need a light for your dinosaur tent? Or perhaps you’re entertaining in the backyard while the sun goes down? No problem, simply grab your rechargeable night light for the job!
Well, there you have it – our six reasons why you should consider investing in a night light for your baby or toddler’s bedroom or nursery.
Sleep is vital – as, without enough of it, we struggle to function at a near-optimal level, something that can be tremendously detrimental to our performance and well-being, impacting our ability to learn and our physical and mental health.
Like adults, children are affected just as much by lack of sleep, with poor sleeping habits leading to all sorts of consequences over the long-term, none of which are particularly good. This makes doing what you can as parents to help ensure that your little one gets as much and as good a sleep as possible is essential.
For younger children, better sleep could be as simple as addressing fear of the dark – something that’s normal for smaller kids and toddlers. With a humble night light and a comforting pre-bedtime routine, these fears can be easy to address.
We hope that you found this article useful and that it has helped you decide whether or not to go out and pick up a night lights.