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Kids' bedroom lights
on or off?

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#1 BetteBoop

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

Settle an argument between my DH and I.

He has an fixation on getting our 5yo DD to stop sleeping with a nightlight on in her room.

He read some stupid article about how kids with emotional problems are frightened of the dark, and now he thinks we should be encouraging her to sleep in the dark.

I think it's developmentally normal for young kids to be scared of the dark and she will have the light off when she's ready.

So, what do your kids do at night. Lights on or off?

#2 leosmum

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

Nightlights. And sometimes my 4 year old even falls asleep with his lamp on - the horror!! I'm on your side, OP.

#3 Busydays

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:31 PM

Mine would never go to sleep if a light was on! We don't leave any lights on overnight, but we live in the city so outside is always an orange glow and never very dark.

#4 bakesgirls

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:31 PM

I'm a lights off person. My kids have been fine with it so far, they haven't really known any different.

#5 Gegemite

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:36 PM

My kids have a night light/string lights on as they fall asleep,  I turn them off when I go to bed.  They're fine if they wake up in the dark though.

#6 Kat5

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:54 PM

No lights. Our kids have never slept with night-lights or lights on so that's all they really know.

They have reading lamps that they keep on until they're done reading or we tuck them in for the night.

I think at the age of 5 their imagination really takes off and it could become very easy to become scared of the dark/monsters/strangers/robbers etc. I dont think keeping a light on is going to harm their emotional/psychological well-being original.gif. I would be more inclined to keep it as an external hall light or something though, so they dont feel dependant on it, if that makes sense original.gif.

#7 JJ

Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:59 PM

My kids both like the light off, but if they wanted a nightlight I would happily provide one, or leave the light on if necessary.

I agree that being scared of the dark is a stage many kids go through. I remember it well from when I was little.

#8 Cheryl_v

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

My 13 year old can sleep with his light off but usually has his bedside lamp on all night.  My girls won't sleep with their door shut so they get ambient light from the hallway.  My 12 year old does sleep with the light off and the door shut but always turns the toilet light on as that room is just outside his bedroom.  Personally I like it to be darker than dark when I go to sleep, I went through a stage of sleeping with an eyemask on when I lived in one house with a streetlight right outside my bedroom.  It's obviously very personal and changes over time.

#9 Team Awesome

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:05 PM

My kids aged 8.5, almost 7, 5 and 2 all currently have a night light (it's from kmart looks like a mini lamp and even has an on /off switch) and I get more sleep for it.

Without them I'd get interrupted multiple times a night by each of them, they'd take ages to go to sleep and DD3 was coming in to sleep in with me. So light on house here. I also give their chosen bed toy of the night a big hug and "fill it with love" when I say good night, don't know if it's placebo effect as I introduced this idea the same week as we put the night lights back in but so far so good. Now to just retrain my body that it can get sleep so it should wink.gif

#10 SeaPrincess

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

We leave the bathroom light on.  This way, if someone gets up to go to the loo, I don't have to get up as well.


#11 BetteBoop

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:11 PM

QUOTE (JJ @ 08/11/2012, 10:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember it well from when I was little.

Me too. I slept with a nightlight on until I was proably 10.

And I've turned out 100% normal*

*number may have been rounded up, seasonally adjusted or completely fabricated

#12 *LucyE*

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:13 PM

He read some stupid article about how kids with emotional problems are frightened of the dark, and now he thinks we should be encouraging her to sleep in the dark.

Is the fear of darkness the cause or result of the emotional problems?

My 8 yr old has a fear of the dark.  I prefer to nurture DS and trust that if he feels safe and loved, he will overcome his fear of the dark himself.  Forcing him before he is ready, will probably cause more harm than good.

So, to answer your question - lights on dim and I switch them off when we go to sleep.  The hallway light is left on dim all night for ambient light and also in case anyone needs to go to the toilet during.

#13 BetteBoop

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 08/11/2012, 11:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is the fear of darkness the cause or result of the emotional problems?

Fears like a fear of dark can be symptoms of anxiety disorders. Obvious right?

But even if she is anxious, we won't fix the anxiety by confronting one specific fear.

#14 yellowtulips74

Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:05 AM

DD1 as a toddler liked the light on and the door open.  DD2 liked the light off and the door closed.  We ended up turning the dining room into a second kids bedroom for a while there, because our plan to have them share a room didn't work out!

Now they share a room and DD1 prefers it darker, DD2 prefers more light!!  I leave a dim hall light on at night, as a compromise.

I'm really afraid of the dark.  My imagination runs wild.  When my girls are at their dad's place I still keep that hall light on...

#15 Bernard Woolley

Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:27 AM

Your DH is confusing correlation with causation. Nightlights + fear of the dark + "emotional problems" may well regularly turn up together in kids, but that doesn't mean the nightlights cause the problems. Props to him for wanting to raise emotionally healthy kids, but if it was as simple as putting them in a dark bedroom, I think the psychology industry would have been wound up a long time ago... wink.gif

Edited by s'peachykeen, 09 November 2012 - 04:28 AM.

#16 ~ky~

Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:34 AM

My daughter had huge insomnia issues a couple of years back and we wracked our brains trying to find a cause. I took her to the doctor, she spoke to a psych etc and all came back healthy, well balanced, happy child - just extremely tired.

We turned off her night light and suddenly she was sleeping again. Ever since, we have just left the toilet light on (needs to be on for DS anyway) and opened her door just a crack so that her room isn't pitch black.

I don't like nightlights mainly because the light the produce makes it all too tempting to play/read/muck around when the child should be sleeping.

i don't think sleeping in the dark or sleeping with a light on causes fear issues - I think that stories, vivid imaginations and tv programs/books/movies are more likely to be the root cause.

#17 ~ky~

Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:52 AM

My DS has to have absolutely no light at all or he is out of bed and playing. He also has to have a room devoid of anything that could distract him so he just has his set of bunks in there and nothing else. Like your DS, he has aspergers but he has an overwhelming compulsion to play with something if he has seen it and will keep getting up and doing so unless it is removed. The night we got the ipad he got out of bed every 15 minutes or so and tried to come downstairs and play with it - neither of us got any sleep that night at all.

DD likes a little light but is happy with just enough to reassure her so just cracking her door is enough. She too will read all night if she has any more light than that.

Our youngest sleeps best with no light yet happily goes down for her day naps in a light room.

#18 LookMumNoHands

Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

We started out with no lights, but it wasn't for any reason other than the usual turning off all lights when we go to bed to save electricity reason.

As the boys night toilet trained, we started leaving the hallway light on, to save poor stubbed toes and wee on the toilet floor.

6yo DS sleeps with his door shut, so only the little light framing his door shows through.

5yo DS sleeps with his door wide open (heaven forbid we close it even a fraction!).

I just do whatever makes them feel safe and secure  original.gif

#19 spannah

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:09 AM

DD1 started wanting a nightlight about 6mths ago. I couldn't find one that was suitable so we compromised. She has a lovely galaxy of glow-in-the-dark stars and planets above her. They start quite bright but by very early morning have dimmed quite a lot. Perfect. Makes her happy. Makes me happy.

#20 Duck-o-lah

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:45 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 09/11/2012, 05:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It depends on the light. DS has an Ikea ghost lamp. The light isn't bright enough to read or play by, but is bright enough for him to find his drink bottle without knocking it over or to calm his nerves if he wakes from a nightmare in a panic.

Same here. DS (3) has a very dim nightlight that is just bright enough to help him find his comfort toys if he loses them in bed, or help him find his way from his bed to mine in the wee hours. He goes to sleep with the hallway light on, he wouldn't sleep if he had a lamp on in his room.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a light, I needed a hallway light on through the night until I was about 11 and I grew out of it.


Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:44 AM

My kids have never ever slept with a light on in their rooms. How can anyone sleep like that? We also have roller shutters so pretty dark. They sleep with their doors slightly ajar.

#22 kpingitquiet

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

Ours sleeps with a light on a timer. It's on during storytime and shuts off on it's own at around 10pm. She seems to be fine with it and I don't have an issue. She sleeps with her door closed so our dogs won't bug her, so I think it's nice she has something in there to make it seem like less of a dungeon original.gif

#23 ~shannon~

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:55 AM

It's lights off in our house, but we leave the door ajar so that there is some light going into the room and then by the time we go to bed they are already asleep. If it was pitch black they wouldn't like it.
When they wake in the night, they seem okay with it. DD6 finds her way to the toilet okay, and DD2 just calls out for me.

#24 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

You're DH is being mean. She can't help it if she's frightened or needs some reassurance. She'll grow out of it in her own time. I used to have my door slightly open just so I could have a tiny bit of light and the reassurance of hearing people talking in the loungeroom right up to highschool. As far as I can tell, I haven't turned into someone who has major emotional problems. wink.gif

Personally, I like the tiny nightlight in my kids' room because I can sneak in during the night and tuck them in and give them a kiss without tripping over anything.

#25 QueenIanthe

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

I think I did read somewhere once that a light on can affect sleep so I have always tried not to have any lights on although my daughter did have a nightlight for a little while.

I cannot sleep with even the tiniest amount of light at all so I have never left a light on for my kids to go to the toilet. They have all managed just fine over the years. I guess it depends what you are used to.

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