- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 4:01PM
There's no denying getting kids to go to bed can be a real chore.
But thanks to a new study, we now know a handy trick to help your children get to sleep soundly...
Keep them away from bright light.
Yep, it's as simple as that!
According to new research, just one hour of exposure to bright light before bed almost totally shuts down the production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin in preschoolers and keeps it suppressed for at least 50 minutes.
For the study, which was published in the journal Physiological Reports, researchers examined 10 healthy children aged three-to-five in a seven-day trial.
After five days of following a strict bedtime schedule, the children were then exposed to bright light by playing at a 'light table' before bedtime on days six and seven.
The researchers found melatonin levels were 88 per cent lower after bright light exposure compared to no light exposure.
"In this study we found that these kids were extremely sensitive to light," lead author Lameese Akacem said.
Co-author Monique LeBourgeois added: "Light is our brain clock's primary timekeeper."
"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 help parents make more informed decisions about a child's use of digital technology at night