Bright light before bed can disturb kid’s sleep as the light almost completely reduces the production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin in the preschooler.
At one side researchers have extensively analyzed effects of exposure to bright light before bedtime on adults and adolescents and a new study research by the University of Colorado Boulder is moving forward to look at the impact of the exposure on preschoolers.
They examined the physiological impact of the exposure on the circadian system of children, the body’s internal clock.
While considering the anatomical and structural difference in the eyes of kids, they are more sensitive to light than other age groups. The study was focused on melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in inducing sleep and controlling the sleep and wake cycle as well as in other bodily processes, regulating blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and temperature.
It is very important to study the impact of bright light before bed in preschooler because sleep problems can continue later on in life, according to lead author Lameese Akacem, a researcher in the Sleep and Development Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“Light is our brain clock’s primary timekeeper,” said co-author Monique LeBourgeois, an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology. “We know younger individuals have larger pupils, and their lenses are more transparent. This heightened sensitivity to light may make them even more susceptible to dysregulation of sleep and the circadian clock,” she said.
It’s hoped the research will alert parents and clinicians take particular action before the exposure and make decisions about a child’s use of digital technology before bedtime.