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Getting a good night’s sleep is something many adults and children struggle with. Though a night light is a common way to help yourself become more relaxed when you’re lying in bed at night, the type of night light has a lot of influence on your quality of sleep.
Are you curious about how a night light will affect your sleep? Read on to help you decide whether you will benefit from having a night light.
Is It Better To Sleep in a Dark Room?
The short answer is yes. For most people, a completely dark room is the best way to have good quality sleep.
Your body’s melatonin production is the reason why it is better to sleep in a dark room than a room with a lot of light. Darkness is a trigger for your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.
So, when you are exposed to light, especially blue light, your body is tricked into thinking that it needs to stay awake. Even when you do fall asleep with a light on, your body struggles to keep you in REM sleep.
People that consider themselves light sleepers or people that don’t wake up feeling refreshed probably weren’t in REM sleep long enough for their body to rejuvenate.
However, a night light affects people’s sleeping patterns in different ways. While it is often recommended to sleep in darkness, a night light can actually help people that struggle with falling asleep.
A very dark room can make some people nervous, whether it is because they’re scared of the dark or simply because they feel more relaxed when they can see their surroundings. Whatever the reason, plenty adults and children feel more comfortable and so also fall asleep quicker with a night light.
When To Use a Night Light
Sometimes having a night light can be extremely useful. For example, if you are someone that wakes up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break or a drink of water then using a night light instead of brighter overhead lights will actually help you get back to sleep faster.
If you only need a night light for trips to the bathroom or to get a cup from the kitchen cabinet, you might not need a night light in your bedroom. Instead, place night lights in the bathroom and kitchen so that you can still find your way without turning on other lights.
Motion sensor lighting is easiest so you won’t have to rummage around for the light switch. Also, consider lights with timers or a dusk to dawn function to save on your energy bills.
A night light in a baby room or children’s room is also useful. Leaving on a night light makes it easier for you to check in on them without waking them up – and of course keeps away the scary monsters.
Another reason to keep a night light is your own piece of mind. People that get anxious in the dark actually benefit from having a night light to calm their nerves to make it easier for them to fall asleep.
The Best Type of Light for a Night Light
The best night lights are ones that emits a red or orange light. Most lights emit a blue or white light which inhibits melatonin production but red and orange light does not have the same effect.
Though red light bulbs are less common, you can still find them with some Googling. Alternatively, you can look for lamps with different light color settings, such as atmospheric lighting and children’s night lights.
Another good night light option is a motion-activated night light. A night light with a motion sensor that switches off by the time you are asleep will help to keep you in REM sleep while still quickly turning back on when you need to get up during the night.
Finally, remember that a night light only needs to be a dim light. Look for lighting with low lumens, even five lumens is enough to illuminate a room at night without affecting your sleeping cycle.
When choosing a night light, remember to pick one that won’t affect your sleep cycle, preferably a red or orange light. Also, ask why you need the night light and find one with the appropriate functionality.
Here’s the LED Light Guides top 3 most popular night light picks for a good night sleep:
- Built-in Light Sensor
- 6 Pack
- Compact Size
- Amazon's Choice
- Motion-Sensing Light
- Modern Design
- Energy Efficient
- Different Colors Available
If you’d like see more of our favourites, check out our full Top 10 best night light reviews here.