We always talk about your kid's room being dark. But, just how dark is dark? and WHY is it so important for sleep?
First of all, let's talk about WHY.
Melatonin is the hormone in our body that primarily regulates sleep. Melatonin production is impacted by light exposure. Being exposed to daylight during the day and reduced light in the evening/night sets our melatonin production and therefore our 'body clock' to wake during the day and sleep at night.
Kids and babies don't know how to tell time. When adults wake in the morning and see it's light outside, we can look at our clock, see that it's only 6am and go back to sleep. Toddlers and babies wake to the light and think "Yay! it's time to wake up!" If you have a toddler you can attempt to use an Okay to wake clock, but it's still important to have a dark room.
So, just how dark should it be?
I do believe that all kids have a tolerance level to light. Some are highly sensitive to a little bit of light creeping in and others can tolerate it. But the room should be dark enough in the morning and evening that you have to let your eyes adjust to find your way out. If you can find a way to block out all of the light, pitch black is best!
Here is a an example of the stages of room darkness. Ideally, their room should be an 8,9 or 10. Which one is your kid's room?
How to make their room dark enough
Even if you have blackout blinds, there is always a space on the side that leaks in the light.
Try these options:
Layer with blackout curtains
Hang travel blackout blinds
Tape garbage bags to the windows
Purchase blackout cling film ( can find on amazon under 'blackout film')
If you have a baby/toddler who has been resisting bedtime or rising early since the days started getting longer, try one of these options!
Follow @thatsleepmama on instagram for more sleep related tips!