Should we sleep in the dark?
Sleeping in the dark, with a night light or with the door open to get some light, opinions are often divided. Some people need to be plunged into complete darkness to be able to fall asleep and can't stand the slightest ray of light, while others fall asleep easily regardless of the brightness. But which is better for our health? Does light influence the quality of our sleep?
Sleeping in the dark is better for your health
Sleep specialists all agree that light is harmful to sleep and can slow down the process of falling asleep. Sleeping in complete darkness is better for your health because darkness promotes the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep. People who have trouble falling asleep and who often wake up at night must therefore sleep in complete darkness. Moreover, falling asleep in the dark makes it easier to clear one's head, which makes it easier to fall asleep.
The darkness allows a total relaxation and a better rest, in particular of the eyes, put to the test throughout the day by the many screens of the telephone, the computer or the television.
What are the consequences of sleeping in the light?
Sleeping with light would even promote depression! And this, because our brain is made to sleep in the dark, forcing it to sleep with light disturbs the circadian cycle (by making the brain believe that it is still daytime) and thus the mental balance.
In some cases, sleeping with the light can even lead to weight gain. The study, conducted by American researchers from the National Institutes of Health and published in JAMA Internal Medicine, states that sleeping at night with an artificial light source can cause weight gain in women.
City dwellers sometimes suffer from the light of outdoor lighting, so it is worth investing in a blackout curtain to limit the impact of light on sleep. You can also opt for a night mask, at least to help you fall asleep.
These rules are valid for adults but also for children and toddlers.
Should children be accustomed to sleeping with a nightlight?
It is a mistake to think that a baby sleeps better with a nightlight, babies are not afraid of the dark! You just have to get them used to sleeping in the dark from birth. Most of the time, children who are afraid of the dark are those who have been used to sleeping with a nightlight! Those who have always slept in the dark find it quite normal and are not afraid...
The nightlight creates an addiction in children, accustomed from an early age to sleeping with a nightlight, they will soon be unable to do without it and their sleep will be of lesser quality. For the nap, the darkness is not necessary, in this case, the brightness allows baby to become aware of the difference between day and night.