Safe and Healthy Sleep

Does it have to be dark in my child’s room?

26 Sep, 2021

Darkness creates an optimal sleeping environment

Various studies have found that even small amounts of light can disrupt your child's healthy sleep. This is because the human brain has adapted to the rising and setting of the sun. It becomes active at sunrise and switches to sleep mode at dusk. This is controlled by the sleep hormone melatonin, which the body produces to a greater extent as it gets darker. The melatonin release is already reduced by the smallest incidence of light. It’s therefore advisable to completely darken your baby’s room for their night sleep so that your baby can relax and process the impressions gained during the day in peace. This includes external light sources such as the moon or street lamps and also artificial light sources in the children's room such as night lights.

During the afternoon nap, you should see how your little one reacts to light. If they sleep despite the light, you can maintain this state. If you see that your child can’t rest at noon, you should also darken their room during their daytime sleep. You can do this step by step, for example by only partially pulling down the blind until your child can recharge their  batteries at this time of the day.

So you can REALLY darken the room

The best way to exclude light coming in from the outside is with a black out blind. The blind  should always be a little wider than the actual window in order to also shield rays from the side. You should also avoid transparent curtains if possible, as they can’t offer sufficient protection from light. If you still want to use them, for decoration purposes for example you should combine them with a black out blind. You can then pull this in front of the window as soon as bedtime has come for your child.

With the routine of pulling down the blinds or closing the curtains, your little one will gradually understand that it's time to go to bed, even if it may still be light outside in summer. By darkening your child's room in the evening, increases the chance they will fall asleep better. With a little luck, they will learn to sleep longer.

Many children sleep with a night light in their room. The light can have a calming effect if they are afraid of the dark or afraid of monsters. A night light is not necessary for babies because babies are not afraid of the dark. The fear of the dark only comes towards the end of the year two. It’s best to use a night light when your child is afraid when you leave the room. Sooner or later, you should find other ways to work with them to overcome their fears. Various bedtime rituals can help you here, giving your little darling a feeling of security.

family sleeping in bed