For children who already have a hard time falling and staying asleep, it’s even more crucial to instill sleep hygiene.
“They may be more sensitive to light than other children,” said LeBourgeois, noting that genes — along with daytime light exposure — can influence light sensitivity. “In that case, it’s even more important for parents to pay attention to their child’s evening light exposure.”
Final Thoughts on How Night Lights Impact Melatonin in Preschoolers
A recent study by CU Boulder researchers revealed that preschoolers’ sleep might suffer when a night light illuminates their room. Shockingly, the team found that the children’s melatonin levels declined by 70 to 99% when they used a light table before bed. Light intensity ranged from 5 to 5,000 lux, but even minimal light exposure suppressed melatonin by 78%. Therefore, children need to adhere to a bedtime routine and put away electronics before bed.
Today, many young children use electronic devices at bedtime, but we shouldn’t normalize this practice. As children have vulnerable, developing brains and bodies, they need all the rest they can get. If you’re a parent, make sure to talk with your children about the importance of prioritizing sleep. It’s never too early to teach them about fostering healthy habits.