How to help a child that’s afraid of the dark

Being afraid of the dark can prevent children from getting the sleep they need

Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.  Children that are afraid of the dark often don’t get an adequate amount of sleep.

Children may express concerns when you try to leave them alone in their room. They sometimes ask for certain items to be removed from the room or object to turning off the lights.  Parents that add night lights or devices to the bedroom often find that it can make the problem worse; children are unable to fall asleep as quickly, stay calm in the room or stay asleep until morning.

It’s best to keep the bedroom as dark as possible, but if you must use a night light, keep it far from the bed.  The brightness of the light should be low enough that you’re unable to recognize letters if you try to read.  If your child insists on keeping the room brighter, try using a dimmer.  Every few days, reduce the brightness by 10% until you reach the right level.

Of course, if your child continues to be afraid of the dark, I’m here to help.