Three Things You Need to Know About Your Child’s Sleep Environment

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Date:
Monday, March 3, 2014

from within or outside the household. Complete darkness isn’t necessarily desirable: a dim nightlight can make the room more comfortable for younger children.   

Temperature

Children and teens generally sleep better in a room that is cool, but not too cold: temperature extremes in either direction may make sleeping more difficult.  Temperature can become especially important in circumstances when families lack options to make the environment more comfortable: e.g., blankets, comforters, or adequate room heating in cold temperatures; fans, air conditioning, or open windows in hot temperatures.  Sometimes, concerns about family security trump physical comfort, such as when families keep windows of bedrooms without air-conditioning or fans closed in hot summer months to deter crime.   

 

Changing specific features and practices associated with the sleep environment is generally part of the strategy of health-care providers to improve sleep. Keeping noise, light, and temperature in mind, a “sleep friendly” environment is generally one that is cool, dark, and quiet.

 

Citations:

  1. Haines MM, Brentnall SL, Stansfeld SA, Klineberg E. Qualitative responses of children to environmental noise. Noise & Health 2003;5:19-30.
  2. Mezick EJ, Matthews KA, Hall M, Strollo PJ, Buysse DJ, Kamarck TW, Reis SE. Influence of race and socioeconomic status on sleep: Pittsburgh SleepSCORE Project. Psychosomatic Medicine . 2008;70:410–416.
  3. Mindell JA, Owens JA. A clinical guide to pediatric sleep: Diagnosis and management of sleep problems . Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
  4. Omlin S, Bauer GF, Brink M. Effects of noise from non-traffic-related ambient sources on sleep: Review of the literature of 1990-2010. Noise & Health . 2011;13:299-309.