Kids sleeping with the light on

Amy - posted on 11/25/2008 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I need suggestions and advice. My autistic son sleeps with his bedroom light on and has since he was about 2 years old. My husband just researched and it looks like it's really not healthy to sleep with the light on. We've tried nightlights, but he just pulls them out. We've tried cold-turkey just turning the light off and he would just go and turn it back on. Then we turned the breaker (power) off to his room. He screamed literally the entire night! We've taken all but one lightbulb out so it isn't extremely bright. We also can't leave his room door open at night so the whole leaving the hall light on doesn't work either. Any suggestions on how to move on from having light in the night please. We have run out of ideas. Thanks.

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Misty - posted on 12/01/2008

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Maybe a lamp with a super low wattage bulb in it. You'll need to slowly decrease the wattage as Any said- but its a great idea!

Amy - posted on 12/01/2008

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Thank you so much for your advice. I'm going to Walmart to find some smaller watt bulbs and go from there. I agree with you about the sleep thing, but it's hard because he stays up a lot of the time and plays when the light is on...sometimes until 4 in the morning. That's the other reason we want the light off so he doesn't have a choice but to sleep. We've tried taking all his toys out of his room and he starts to bang holes in the wall and damages the door. I hope that a lower watt bulb will work. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!!!

[deleted account]

We just use her regular lamp that sits on her shelf. You can buy night-light bulbs for a regular lamp... I got them at Wal-Mart with the other bulbs (it has a regular size thing that screws in but the bulb itself is a little smaller)... So, we started with the overhead light on, then we just said she could have a lamp on (I think it had a 60 WATT bulb in it so it was still pretty bright)... then we went to a 40 WATT and then something else before the 15 WATT... it is not much light - but she is fine with it. Good luck and really, I agree with Kerry that any sleep is better than no sleep!!!!

Kerry - posted on 11/30/2008

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Hello Amy, my advice would be "dont panic" and dont beleive everything you read. Any sort of sleep is better than being awake half the night screaming, the body is getting no rest then either. And if you take the light away from him beore he is ready, what he sees that as is his parents are taking something away that makes him feel safe and happy, and having a very long memory this becomes that his parents ont love him because they make him upset and uncomfortable. (please look at things from your childs different perspective, research is great, BUT if it is aimed at Neurotypical population I have found that it does NOT apply to my different little munchkins.) I have 3 on the spectrum at varying degrees, 1 cannot have even the slightest bit of light in his room or windows open, no 2 must have lights and noise at sleeptime and still takes several hours to eventually sleep, and no 3 must have block out curtains someone in the room with him and the television on.
All are different and where possible cater to the childs needs NOT those of general populations (although swapping flourescent light for natural style lighting IS a good idea and does work)

Amy - posted on 11/26/2008

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I guess sleeping in the dark helps your body repair itself and strengthens your immune system. Our son struggles with health problems so anything that will help improve his ailments is worth a try. What kind of lamp do you use?

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I am a teacher of children with autism... but my 4 year old (who is not autistic) sleeps with the light on.... we faded it to a lamp and we started decreasing the WATT in the bulb every 2 weeks (she did not know it). She still sleeps with the lamp on, but it has a nightlight bulb in it (I think it is 15 Watts). What is unhealthy about sleeping with a light on? (Just curious).

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