Babies need a lot of sleep. The average newborn spends 16-17 hours sleeping per day. That’s more time than they spend eating! Despite this, there are many things that can keep our little ones up at night. Being in unfamiliar surroundings, being hungry, or having reflux are all common reasons for sleeplessness in babies.
Luckily, there are solutions to help them sleep better. One way to help is by using the right color light. Here’s what you need to know about which colors work best for your baby’s sleep schedule and why they’re effective in helping your baby fall asleep easily
What you need to know about sleep
The first step to trying any new nighttime routine for your baby is to figure out what works best for your baby’s sleep schedule. Unfortunately, your baby is no different from you, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to figuring out what time they should go to sleep.
Babies vary in their sleep schedules, but according to The Bump, you’ll likely see an upward trend with their sleep times between 1 month old and 6 months old, as they sleep more during the day and sleep less at night.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents follow a newborn sleep schedule to get their babies the sleep they need and some variation is normal as your baby grows and changes over time. For instance, if you tend to wake your baby at the same time every night, you’ll see a pattern.
Which color light helps babies sleep
It all comes down to color and preference. For some babies, a pinkish red light is best, while others prefer white light. Most people will find a light that’s close to the color of their bedroom. In order to avoid disrupting your baby’s sleep, don’t look at a light that is too bright or too dim.
Why are colors helpful? Seeing the color of light has a calming effect on your baby. By being exposed to a constant bright light, they can become stressed out when they wake up at night. You might also have heard the term, melatonin, which has a calming effect on your baby.
Research has shown that different color light can be effective. The same researchers tested light based on color spectrum and found that blue light is most effective.
Red light is the worst light
According to Yale’s Smell and Baby Sleep Lab, babies need the least amount of blue light when they’re sleeping. Red light has a long-lasting affect, so parents should try to keep their baby in a room without any light with red bulbs.
The reason for this is because red light is particularly damaging for newborns who are on a transitional sleep cycle. For more information, check out the Inquisitr story on how light is beneficial for babies. According to the Smell and Baby Sleep Lab, babies need the least amount of blue light when they’re sleeping.
Red light has a long-lasting effect, so parents should try to keep their baby in a room without any light with red bulbs. The reason for this is because red light is particularly damaging for newborns who are on a transitional sleep cycle.
Blue light helps with sleep but can interfere with your day-time routine
Babies naturally have blue-violet light in their eyes and at night. When parents and caregivers turn off blue-violet light, they inadvertently disrupt their baby’s sleep schedule. Blue-violet light is necessary for normal, healthy development, but, in fact, it can be harmful when it’s projected onto the eyes during the night.
One of the types of light your baby needs at night is melatonin, which stimulates the production of the sleep hormone. If you deprive your baby of this light in the evenings, they can end up having trouble falling asleep.
Light filters that block blue light are the most effective Light filtering products filter out blue light, blocking its harmful effects and allowing your baby’s body to produce melatonin and regulate their circadian rhythms.
Green light stimulates your mind and body in the daytime, while also helping you sleep at night.
Bright light works best in the daytime, so bright-colored night lights should be avoided if your child has a lower than average night vision. Bright light stimulates the body’s systems for alertness and sleep at night, and has the opposite effect at daybreak.
Red light helps your body release melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical your body produces to help you get sleepy and transition from wakefulness to sleep. Your body cannot produce melatonin while it’s awake, and there is no release of it during the day.
Green is a non-stimulating light that promotes rest and has the opposite effect of bright light. In particular, it has been shown to be useful at improving nighttime sleep. It stimulates the pineal gland, which then begins the process of synthesizing and releasing your melatonin.
Yellow light is somewhere in between
Babies aren’t born color blind. This is also the case with our eyes, which are slightly different shades of red and green. This natural color finding ability of our eyes helps our brains make sense of colors and vision. Even newborn babies have red and green cones (which are part of the eye’s rod system) which allow them to see colors.
It’s amazing that our eyes work the way they do, as it means that our eyes need certain light. The type of light that your baby needs depends on the phase of the moon, the length of the day and what time of day the lights are on. For this reason, light is a key factor in helping your baby sleep. That’s why yellow-colored light is often the best option. Babies have a different circadian rhythm than adults.
These are the most important considerations when selecting the right nighttime lighting solutions for your baby. Make sure that your baby gets the recommended amount of rest each day, and you will be able to feel more rested as well.