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Sleeping in a dark room
Is it a really bad idea?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

My 15 month old DD is a terrible sleeper, typically waking hourly overnight. Her day sleeps were bad too, but are improving. A few months ago I put blockout fabric over her bedroom windows and I think it helped improve her sleep a bit, allowing her to sleep in a bit later in the morning and to sleep better during the day.

We have just got back from a few days away and the bedroom where we stayed wasn't very dark, consequently she only got 8 hours sleep overnight (with multiple wakeups as usual), rather than her usual 12 hours.

Am I creating a long term problem for myself / her by darkening her room? Perhaps she'll always have trouble sleeping anywhere that's not completely dark. What are your thoughts / experiences?





#2 Lolpigs

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 24/01/2013, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I honestly would not worry about it.  Whatever works.  Hell I'd swing naked from the chandeliers if I thought I could get 12 hours out of my kids.


LMAO!

This totally, who cares so long as they sleep? original.gif

#3 Therese

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

I am in the whatever works camp. Sleep is precious.

#4 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

QUOTE (Lolpigs @ 24/01/2013, 11:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
who cares so long as they sleep? original.gif


Sure she sleeps, but it is extremely hard for her to get to sleep. Given that she typically wakes anywhere between 6 and 12 times a night, sleep is something I think about a lot. And if I'm potentially causing future sleep problems for her (i.e. if, even when she's older, she finds it really hard to sleep anywhere away from home because the room isn't completely dark), then I care.

ETA I am particularly interested in hearing from anyone who might have older kids who slept in completely dark rooms when little - can they sleep anywhere now?

Edited by LILLIANA1, 24 January 2013 - 10:13 AM.


#5 Liz75

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

Please dont worry about it. I have always put my kids to sleep in a darkened room and admittedly we did have problems sleeping elsewhere when they were little for their day naps ie they would go to sleep but not sleep as long as at home, but now they are 18months and three and it makes no difference.

We just got back from a camping trip, so think light in the tent until the sun goes down, and it was difficult to get the kids to go to sleep but once they were asleep they slept in till 7/7:30 which is normal wake time.


#6 Z-girls rock

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

QUOTE (LILLIANA1 @ 24/01/2013, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sure she sleeps, but it is extremely hard for her to get to sleep. Given that she typically wakes anywhere between 6 and 12 times a night, sleep is something I think about a lot. And if I'm potentially causing future sleep problems for her (i.e. if, even when she's older, she finds it really hard to sleep anywhere away from home because the room isn't completely dark), then I care.

ETA I am particularly interested in hearing from anyone who might have older kids who slept in completely dark rooms when little - can they sleep anywhere now?


maybe this is not helpful but I just want to say - maybe she is just like that?

I STILL wake up several times a night. always have. always will.

there is nothing that can be done about it.

I dont sleep in a darkened room. in fact I prefer a light room because I can tell what time it is without waking myself up more by checking a clock.
Ever since I was little I have been a very light sleeper. I would rarely get more then 7 hrs per night. Very early riser.

I am just 'sayn. everyone is different...

#7 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

QUOTE (Liz75 @ 24/01/2013, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Please dont worry about it. I have always put my kids to sleep in a darkened room and admittedly we did have problems sleeping elsewhere when they were little for their day naps ie they would go to sleep but not sleep as long as at home, but now they are 18months and three and it makes no difference.

We just got back from a camping trip, so think light in the tent until the sun goes down, and it was difficult to get the kids to go to sleep but once they were asleep they slept in till 7/7:30 which is normal wake time.


Thanks Liz.  original.gif

#8 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (Z-girls rock @ 24/01/2013, 11:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
maybe this is not helpful but I just want to say - maybe she is just like that?

I STILL wake up several times a night. always have. always will.

there is nothing that can be done about it.

I dont sleep in a darkened room. in fact I prefer a light room because I can tell what time it is without waking myself up more by checking a clock.
Ever since I was little I have been a very light sleeper. I would rarely get more then 7 hrs per night. Very early riser.

I am just 'sayn. everyone is different...


I hadn't thought of this possibility - thanks.

#9 crocodilessnap

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

My DD sleeps in a completely dark room as well and has done since she was a few months old. We are away at present and the room is in is anything but dark (ie she keeps telling me to turn out the light) Its been a bit harder to get her to sleep during the day and she is waking a little earlier which is a pain but I'd prefer a few issues on holidays than issues constantly at home but that's just our personal preference

#10 MintyBiscuit

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

Ds has been a shocking sleeper, and generally sleeps in a darkened room. But he will also fall asleep sometimes in the car driving around in the sun, and happily sleeps in a room that's lighter and warmer when we're at FIL's.

I think unfortunately some kids aren't fall asleep anywhere kids, and some are. DS needs his routines even if he's utterly exhausted - he's never gonna be that kid who falls asleep in adorable places because without his routine it's like he just doesn't realise he's tired. And I honestly think a darkened room is something that can be achieved most of the time, so it's not something that's likely to cause a lot of problems.

#11 Alina0210

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

My kids have never slept in completely dark rooms, ways light coming in from somewhere, well until we go to bed.... But they can sleep with all the lights on, sunlight streaming in, of even pitch darkness...  Pretty easy going... Never had a problem with either....

#12 :::

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 24/01/2013, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I honestly would not worry about it.  Whatever works.  Hell I'd swing naked from the chandeliers if I thought I could get 12 hours out of my kids.


roll2.gif


#13 JustBeige

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

I have always needed a dark room to sleep.   DH could sleep tacked up to the clothesline by his toes.

We (as you do) had a discussion about this many many years ago. It was actually prompted by something his mum said in genuine surprise.

Anyway, the moral of the story is my skin is more translucent than his and in particular over our eye areas.   So I need dark as I can actually detect the changes in the light.  I just manage by taking a face mask with me.   My DD is the same and she has been taking a face mask to camp or sleepovers for years.


So no, I dont think you are setting your child up for anything.

Also, I'm pretty sure that sleep studies tell you that you should be in a darkened room - something to do with REM sleep.

#14 FeralZombieMum

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (Z-girls rock @ 24/01/2013, 11:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
maybe this is not helpful but I just want to say - maybe she is just like that?

I STILL wake up several times a night. always have. always will.

there is nothing that can be done about it.

I dont sleep in a darkened room. in fact I prefer a light room because I can tell what time it is without waking myself up more by checking a clock.
Ever since I was little I have been a very light sleeper. I would rarely get more then 7 hrs per night. Very early riser.

I am just 'sayn. everyone is different...

You might want to do some research on melatonin, how the body produces it, and how sleep is affected by low levels.

You might also want to read up about how light during the night time sleep cycle can affect the production, and also research melatonin's link with cancer.

Also look into how to improve melatonin production (can be done naturally), and maybe you might want to chat to your GP about trialling a melatonin supplement to see if it improves your sleep quality and stops your night wakings.

#15 mollybot

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

My kids sleep in a darkened room. Have had many surprised comments from friends that they go down at 7pm, even during summer.

When we travel I take a big blanket and bulldog clips to deal with inadequate window coverings biggrin.gif

I think a rock-solid bedtime routine and consistency is what makes the most difference ie: if you have a darkened room, then do that, if a light room, then do that, but don't swap them up....

#16 mmuc83

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

My kids sleep in a dark room - and we have no trouble with them falling asleep if we are out.

When they were younger (say up to 18 months old) they wouldn't sleep anywhere else during the day but at home... now they don't really care!





EFS

Edited by mmuc83, 24 January 2013 - 12:43 PM.


#17 unicycle

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

My son from birth, in the hospital even, could only sleep in the dark. His older sister slept anywhere, anytime from birth. He hated sleeping away without blockout curtains, but managed it. Much like your daughter. Fast forward ten years and We now are in a rental without blockouts and he adapted within a month. So, based on one person's experience, i would keep using the blockout curtains as we still prefer them.

#18 Chazonator

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

Our boys have always slept in a fully darkened room since they were newborns/ 6wk mark as they would continue to wake up during their day naps and early mornings. I decided to block out the windows and they've slept so much better since. I think when they start school ill gradually wean them off the blockout as i hope school will make them exhausted enough to go straight to sleep without mucking around til all hours of the night.



#19 Leggy

Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I'm another one who needs a dark place to sleep well - some of us are just like that. Your munchkin might be too. DN doesn't have blackout curtains, but she sleeps in noticably longer on cloudy mornings. I think we're just a bit more sensitive to stimuli than some others.

#20 *melrose*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

Agree, I think it's a good idea.

#21 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

I have always put my kids in completely pitch black rooms.....IME it is better for day sleeps and helped occasionally (I'll admit not always) with combatting the early morning wake ups.....it does pose some problems when travelling, they do find it difficult to sleep in a room which is bright......I have some travel black out blinds which I take with me, together with some clips (or pegs!) ...I can generally find something to darken a room....

#22 ~~HappyMummy~~

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

OP, do you know why your child wakes so much at night?  May e it isn't connected to the amount of light.

#23 msro82

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE (LILLIANA1 @ 24/01/2013, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sure she sleeps, but it is extremely hard for her to get to sleep. Given that she typically wakes anywhere between 6 and 12 times a night, sleep is something I think about a lot. And if I'm potentially causing future sleep problems for her (i.e. if, even when she's older, she finds it really hard to sleep anywhere away from home because the room isn't completely dark), then I care.

ETA I am particularly interested in hearing from anyone who might have older kids who slept in completely dark rooms when little - can they sleep anywhere now?


Yes DD had block out curtains. She now goes to bed when it's light and sleeps with a lamp on! She is 5.

I would keep it up for now. Down the track for day naps make the room a bit lighter if you are concerned, but for now I would keep going.

#24 babychacha

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

I love black out curtains. Our bedrooms can be totally dark in the middle of the day. I had them installed when we moved in here. If I can't afford them when we move from here, I will go to spotlight and do the cheaper version.

DS has always slept in a darkened room. He has no problem falling asleep when on holidays but (of course) wakes earlier as the room is lighter.

I 2nd the eye mask.

#25 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

DS slept in our bedroom (which has dark blinds - though not complete blackout) until he was nearly 2.

Now he is in his own room, which has a skylight! I was worried about how he would sleep, but he has transitioned fine. He definitely has been waking up earlier over summer, but after a few talks about it being early etc, he has started going back to sleep, and if anything is sleeping better.  He is now 2yrs 7m.




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