Blue Light - How it Effects Your Baby/Toddler's Sleep
Our little one's sleep is always in question and something that might actually be effecting sleep is screen time! Any LED screen (television, phone, tablet, etc.) is not a good idea before bed. Why? Blue light. Hmmm, what's blue light?!? Blue light is the main type of light wavelength that is emitted from our television screens, computer monitors, mobile phones, and tablets. While other color wavelengths are emitted too, blue light wavelengths are the highest proportion of light emitted from screens made with LEDs (which is most flat screens these days). On the positive side, blue light wavelengths boost attention, reaction times, and mood. However, this is a big downfall, as so many of us are on our devices before bedtime and then wondering why we can't fall asleep. I know I am definitely guilty of this. What blue light wavelengths actually do is suppress the production of melatonin more than any other color light in the spectrum. Melatonin is the naturally occurring hormone in our bodies that helps us sleep and get into the deeper REM sleep. So, blue light tricks our bodies into thinking it's still daytime making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
While the concern for blue light wavelengths may seem more appropriate for your sleep or a teenagers sleep, this can also impact your littlest one, as well. Since light in general can influence melatonin production, there are several things you can consider to set up your baby (and you) for more restful sleep. So, what can you do?
I always recommend:
No screen time at least 2 hours before bedtime (this may be more difficult for you as an adult, but try and shoot for an hour before bed).
Setting the "mood" in your home as evening approaches by dimming the lights; this will also help with the natural production of melatonin.
In terms of your little one's room environment, just be cautious of any monitors, humidifiers, fans, sleep-to-wake clocks, etc., that have a blue light. I would keep them out of the room or cover up any monitor light.
As always, a consistent bedtime routine will signal to your little one that sleep is just around the corner and help with the transition to bed.