The Importance of Darkness for Bedtime


There are many moving parts involved in facilitating a happy and healthy bedtime for your child. As a parent there’s only so much you can control in your child’s environment, and we’re here to help shed some light on what you can do to help your little one feel tired on time. Our team at 5 Little Monkeys has spent years building the best mattress for children, so we must know a lot about the science of sleep. Here’s why darkness is so important at bedtime.

Your Child’s Circadian Rhythm

Our bodies are very sensitive to light exposure, be it from the sun, artificial lighting, or our phone screens. Any light exposure affects the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that tells us when it’s time to sleep or be awake and produces the sleep hormone melatonin. Research has shown that children are even more sensitive to light exposure because their eyes let in more light. If your child is consistently antsy and resistant when it’s time to go to bed, it may be a direct outcome of too much artificial light in the late afternoon and evening.

No Screens at Bedtime

Phones, tablets, and computers are the worst offenders when it comes to messing with circadian rhythms. Not only are they designed to stimulate and excite the brain continuously, they also emit blue light which suppresses melatonin production. Therefore, a phone before bed is one of the worst ways for a child to wind down, so be sure to put screens away a couple of hours before sleep.

Blackout Curtains and Nightlights

One challenge parents face when setting a consistent bedtime routine for their little ones is that pesky summer sun that stays out until 9pm! Getting your kid to bed when it’s as bright as high noon outside is a feat possible only with blackout curtains. Creating a sleepy environment with low light levels is a must for melatonin production, and the type of light matters too: only use nightlights that emit soft yellow or orange light, as white or blue light are overstimulating.

Try the 5 Little Monkeys Sleep System

Sleep is the most important thing for your child’s mind and body from toddlerhood to teenagerdom. That’s why 5 Little Monkeys has created an award-winning sleep system that improves the quality of children’s sleep, and even gets them excited to tuck themselves into bed. Read our reviews or try it for yourself risk-free, we are confident that you and your little one will love it. Contact us today for more information!