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Lights out after dark with a family...

Discussion in 'Optimal Kids' started by trishalinn@gmail.com, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. So, I had a consult with Dr kruse and he really stressed this for me. I've been doing the diet and some ct, but this is a piece I haven't implemented yet.

    How are ou implementing this with kids? I'm afraid my kids are going to seriously protest at no nightlights.

    Another issue I have is my twin 15 month olds still wake a number of times a night. Sometimes to nurse, but sometimes... I don't know why. They just have not ever been good sleepers. It makes it difficult for me to get much sleep which I'm sure isn't helping anything. *sigh* any great suggestions on getting one year olds to sleep through the night?
  2. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Trisha, I've said this in other places before, but we've just been through an entire winter (plus a few months before) with no artificial lights. It got dark here by 4:30/5:00pm. My children were 7 and 11 when we began. So older than yours, to be sure. But I really think the worry about how much children will protest is unfounded. Sure, they will find it strange at first. But they adapt really quickly. We didn't get the blue-blocking glasses, just no lights/screens of any kind from dusk. Basically, we just never turned on the lights, so as it darkened outside we started to light candles. My kids play, do homework, cuddle, talk, make up games, etc all by candlelight. They have zero issues going to bed or falling asleep. And their sleep has improved.

    If your little ones are having trouble in the night, can you not put them in a bed in your room? That way you don't need lights on. I remember listening to a TS Wiley podcast and her being asked what to do when someone was afraid of the dark. Her answer was simple: sleep with them until they aren't anymore. Especially if they are waking to nurse, I'd think just being able to 'find' them without lights would be a simple solution.

    My guess is that once you get on the circadian cycles you'll find their sleep (and yours) will even out. You can't expect uninterrupted sleep at any age if you're getting artificial light input right up until you go to bed... and during!

    Last thought... you could get a salt lamp and put it on the lowest setting in the hallway. It should cast enough light so that it's not pitch black but it would be orange/pink light.

    We've had huge changes as a result of following the light cycles and I really recommend it. I know it's hard with the age your children are. But I really think you can do it... and see some pretty good changes right away. Good luck!!
  3. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    I probably don't have much to add beyond what Lauren has already said. Her responses on other posts helped me get my kids on board with the whole light issue so far!

    We've only had a "no-fake light" policy only for a little while now, but the kids are totally embracing it. They think the candlelight is cool and the last few nights they've been asking earlier and earlier to light the candles - before it's even dark! They're 12 and 8, so old enough for me to explain why we're doing this and have them at least somewhat understand.

    As far as nightlights in their rooms, I gave them both a flashlight with a red lens that they can sleep with in case they wake at night and MUST get up for something. So far it neither has had to use it, but it makes them feel a bit more secure I think.
  4. Thanks! I have the two 15 month olds, a 4 year old, and an 8 year old. I'm not worried about the 8 year old, but my 4 year old thinks he MUST have a night light. The biggest problem with having the 4 year old sleep with us is tht my husband and I are up and down all night long with the babies and it would be very disruptive to him.

    Is there a type of light/ lightbulb we could use in their room as a night light?

    I'm also not worried about the babies, I'm sure the darkness will only help them sleep. They have are the sweetest babies with the best dispositions, but sleep horribly! They get probably 7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. It's crazy.
  5. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Trisha, all I can suggest is that you take an experimental attitude ("I wonder what this will be like?"... "Let's try this and see what happens") versus one of certainty ("My four year old must have a night light."). This is totally new and, as a result, can yield very different results. My son used to be very afraid of the dark. He wouldn't even go to the toilet on his own at night, and that was with night lights. Now he happily wanders the house. Like BJK, he has a torch to use if he needs it, but he rarely does. In fact, both of my kids are addicted to evening face dunks. They fill the sink with ice water and do face dunking by candlelight. They say it feels great and helps them sleep! I didn't ask them to do this. They started on their own after watching me. So you may want to experiment with different things and see what works. I'm sure you'll figure it out.
  6. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

  7. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    Just make it happen. Eventually the 4yo will tell you to turn off your red light b/c it's too bright.
  8. kjgraffin@yahoo.com

    kjgraffin@yahoo.com New Member

    I have a 9 year old & 16 year old. My 9 year old is transitioning very well. I struggle with the 16 year old because I can't come up with alternative things for him to do other than be on the computer. I was able to convince them we don't need TV but he has found his favorite shows on the internet to watch. His circadian rythm is really off and I know getting off the computer and turning off the lights would be very good for him. I was an avid reader as a teenager so I can remember that is what I did at night, but he hates reading since it required so much at school. Any ideas on how to occupy a teen at night?
  9. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    REading for school is one thing... reading for pleasure is entirely another... ONe of the generas I loved growing up was sci-fi - Has he read HGW Time machine? or War of the worlds? great books... Also anything by robert heinline is awesome too Stranger in a strange land was a trippy cool read in highschool still love it later in life... also philip k dick has great short stories... has he seen blade runner? if so ask him if he'd be interested in reading the short story that inspired it.

    These are classics - yet most of them won't be read in school - trust me there are great books out there that he'll love. it only takes one really good one to snag them... even w/all the reading in school... plus the great thing about sci-fi is it usually tackles the things they cover in school from a perspective of other worlds...

    other options... if he has not desire to read at all... knitting... eye hand coordination at night in the dark w/red light... talk about a skill builder... betting if you give him that or reading...he'll take the reading

    eta I picked up the fountainhead and atlas shrugged in 7th grade - made a serious impact on me then (even if I didn't really grasp everything in both books )
  10. Jennie747

    Jennie747 New Member

    I just put red bulbs in their night lights. The ones I had in there before were blue LEDs! Ack! (they were cool looking though...)

    My daughter woke up every night to nurse until I weaned her at 18mos so I feel your pain on that one!
  11. freesia

    freesia Old Member

    16 - yes that would be difficult! LOL about him finding his shows on the internet. Resourceful kid - WILL get his fix. :) How about audio books? I don't know what's available in that department but it might be worth a look. Public libraries sometimes have good selections. You could also see if he would get used to followig a guided relaxation CD just before sleep. They can be quite addictive...in a good way. Wish I had more ideas for you! :)

  12. Alrighty, so we're working on the no artificial lights after dark thing. We're not quite all the way there yet, but it was only day 2 so I'm sure we'll get there soon!

    Yesterday, we didn't get lights out quite before dusk. My husband and I discussed we just need to maybe try to encourage the kids to keep lights out as much as possible even during the day. We need to make sure the shades are open for optimal sunlight in the house. I'll sometimes need light in the kitchen for meal prep and in the basement for laundry, etc.

    We did really good tonight! We had all of the lights out before dusk. The older boys both thought the candles were really cool (especially my 8 year old). We have, for now, let them keep their small night light in their room, but they've been told that it will be going away soon. I actually may try doing what Jennie suggested and swapping the bulb out for a red light. The boys have always liked us to keep the hall way light on, that is OUT... and amazingly with no fussing!

    A couple glitches we've run into and things we need to do:

    - Get a different bulb for the refrigerator - opened the door to get a drink of water tonight and got blinded by the refrigerator light!

    - It would be nice to have a reading light/lamp of some sort besides candle light. Maybe we can just get a bulb for our bedside lights?

    - We live in a subdivision and have outside lights all around us. Our neighbor in the back has a huge flood light (terribly irritating even prior to this). Anyhow, we already put light-blocking shades in our bedrooms. I was noticing last night (as I was up and down ALL night long with babies). That there is still a little bit of light that gets in between the edge of the shade and the windows. Do I need to be concerned about this, or will this little bit of light not cause a problem? If I need to be concerned about this, any good suggestions?

    - Any recommendations on good red/amber blue-blocking bulbs to use? I see there are bulbs on LowBlueLight.com, but they are quite pricey. Are the cheaper red/amber lights you can buy on Amazon or in our local store just as good? Is there something in particular I should be looking for?
  13. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Yea for you! You're doing so great... so much progress in such a short time.

    I hear you re: neighbours. It sucks. We literally have rooms we don't go into after dusk because I can't block out all the street lights and neighbour's lights in all the rooms. I have, however, worried about the light you've referred to in the bedrooms coming in through the edges. Our budget is super tight so I dealt with this by going to the local opportunity shop and getting a bunch of old curtains and blankets for $2 each and I stuff them above the curtains wherever light seeps in. I also use clips to keep the curtains back against the wall.

    Oh... and the fridge! I know. It's amazingly bright. I try to never open ours after dusk. I'm thinking of just taking the bulb out.
  14. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    I used to work with teens (though have yet to live with my own, so all advice with a big grain of salt:)). I'd be engaging your 16 year old in some deep learning about WHY you are doing what you're doing. Listening to podcasts with JK, reading Lights Out and the blog, etc. The other thing is trying to get a teen to live in a counter-cultural way. They want to live counter to mainstream/parental culture, but not to teen culture. And teen culture is all about the computer and technology, so it's hard. In the long run, I don't think it's going to work if you have to occupy him. But you could do family things. We invested in a whole bunch of card and board games over the past year and we play them most every night. Maybe also get him to do an ASI panel... if he sees his altered circadian cycle on paper he may be more motivated and it may be more personal for him. Last thing: as he weans himself off the computer at night, you could get him blue blockers and make sure f.lux is installed. Good luck... not an easy task with a teen!!
  15. Jennie747

    Jennie747 New Member

    I went to the hardware store and got some amber flame looking lights for the dining room chandelier and a bunch of yellow bug lights. They had the red flame lights on clearance so I got the last four of those, might have to look at another store for more of those as long as they're on clearance (Lowe's). In my bedside lamp the bug light was too bright but the amber flame one too dark for reading so need to figure something out there. I think I'll put an amber one in the frig. I'm going to look for some orange cellophane from the craft store and see about covering lights from clocks, TVs, cable boxes, etc. with that. The stove light is another one I need to deal with. I also have a neighbor with a super bright light on at night, but it comes in the bathroom window which is covered pretty well.

    My kids are pretty young (6 and 9) and they go to bed early so they haven't been too difficult about it.
  16. kjgraffin@yahoo.com

    kjgraffin@yahoo.com New Member

    I was able to coax my 16 year old into playing UNO with me & my 9 year old last night. I asked him to just play 2 hands and then he could do what he wanted. He ended up playing until bedtime! It was great. He did promptly go upstairs and turn on his light though to get ready for bed. But at least he knows all lights have to be out before I come upstairs to say good night.

    He is having an ASI done and I am hoping this will help. I've been talking about circadian rythm with him for months now. We both know that his is backwards, but sometimes seeing it in black and white causes it to hit home a bit harder. He keeps telling people we've gone Amish!
  17. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    Wow Trisha! Sounds like you are well on your way :) We ran into the blinding light from the fridge too . . . such a pain. We were just getting water from the outside and it's still a super bright light. I've just been trying to remember to fill up our water bottles before we go to candlelight. Then there's no excuse to open the fridge or use the water dispenser.

    I'm getting into more of a routine with all of this now. I go around and light the candles and DH's propane lantern, fill the water bottles, make sure the kids have brushed their teeth (so much easier before it gets too dark!) and make sure everything is in its place for the next day. After a little over a week it just feels normal now ;)
  18. omlh@todmi.com

    omlh@todmi.com New Member

    For bedtime reading, have you thought about candle sconces on the wall above the bed? We have a double one high above each of our pillows and, being high up, the light they produce is more than sufficient to see by. You can also buy sconces with mirrors behind where the candles go to magnify the amount of light produced.
  19. enyaw

    enyaw Gold

    What kind of candles do you use at night?

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