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The Importance of Darkness for Bedtime

The Importance of Darkness for BedtimeAt 5 Little Monkeys, we're on a mission to help kids everywhere experience the life-changing benefits of truly healthy, restful sleep. As parents of two beautiful daughters, we started to understand the true importance of healthy sleep only after realizing that most children's mattresses on the market simply weren't providing their growing bodies what was needed for healthy sleep. That's why we set out to build the best children's mattress from the ground up, and the result has been life-changing. But your child's mattress isn't the only thing affecting their sleep, and one of the most important factors outside kids bed may be darkness itself.

Why Your Child's Bedroom Should Be Dark

Countless studies have shown that the human body is highly sensitive to light exposure, and that certain kinds of light exposure at certain points in the day can drastically affect our circadian rhythm: the "body clock" by which the body times the release of various hormones and functions needed to get through the day. In particular, exposure to too much light, too late in the day can interfere with the production of melatonin, the brain's sleep hormone. Being around artificial light at night can prevent our bodies from releasing enough melatonin to make us feel tired, ready, and able to sleep.

The problem may be even more pronounced in children. The lenses in a child's eyes are clearer that adult lenses and therefore let in more light, and according to a recent study done be researchers from the University of Colorado, this has a drastic effect on melatonin production. When kids spent the late afternoon and early evening in dimly-lit "caves," researchers found that the children's bodies started to secrete melatonin around 7:45 pm, about 45 minutes before the average 8:30 pm bedtime. However, the next night, children spent time playing on a "light table" for an hour, which had a source of bright lights.

The results were dramatic. Compared to the low-light environment of the caves, exposure to the light tables reduced melatonin production by upwards of 90%, effectively wiping out the body's natural mechanisms for inducing sleep. Without a rise in melatonin levels, kids won't feel tired and will be even more resistant to the idea of bedtime.

Contact Your Children's Bed Experts

The science is clear: for a comfy bedtime and healthy sleep, one of the most important steps is to limit light exposure in the evening. This will help your child's body secrete enough melatonin to feel tired and prepared for sleep. But of course, it's equally important that they have a children's mattress that supports their growing body during sleep – and that's where we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our organic kids bed and find out how you can try it risk-free for 100 nights. We can't wait to hear from you!