In order to facilitate the feeding and changing of diapers at night, many parents will have a night light at night. However, recently, there is a saying on the Internet that “turning on the light and sleeping can lead to premature child maturity”, and many parents are very worried about this. Does a small night light really promote a child’s precocious puberty? Is there a scientific basis for this statement?
For this statement, Song Cui, deputy director of the Department of Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, said that there are many reasons for children’s precocious puberty, which are related to nutrition, genes, environment, etc., and not a single factor predominates. In general, turning on the light to sleep can cause some prejudice in the baby’s precocious puberty, and there is no scientific evidence to confirm it.
So why is there a saying that “opening the night light to sleep leads to precocious puberty”? Mao Chen, director of the Children’s Endocrinology and Early Childhood Outpatient Clinic of the Children’s Health Care Department of Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital, explained that light can inhibit the secretion of melatonin, which not only affects the sympathetic nerve excitability, but also affects the secretion of pituitary gonadotropin. If melatonin secretion is inhibited, the secretion of pituitary gonadotropin increases and may lead to the initiation of sexual development. At the same time, the level of melatonin secretion directly affects the quality of sleep, while the most vigorous growth hormone secretion is when you are asleep, that is, deep sleep. The condition of growth hormone secretion during sleep is that after the light is turned off, the melatonin is secreted in the body and enters a deep sleep state, and a large amount of growth hormone is secreted. When you turn on the light and sleep, it interferes with melatonin secretion and affects deep sleep. Then the natural secretion rhythm of growth hormone may be disrupted.
But this is only a theoretical point. In real life, does the night light really have such a big impact? The light produced by the night light will have an effect on the secretion of melatonin in children. There is not much data in this regard. Studies have found that long-term indifference light intensity in the neonatal intensive care unit has no significant effect on the secretion of melatonin in newborns. Through the research data currently available, we cannot directly link the use of the night light to the development advance. The rumors on the Internet are only speculations for a few cases, and there is no support for the test results. In addition, there are many kinds of night lights on the market, and the color, brightness and softness of the lights are different. Therefore, it is inappropriate to analyze the influence of “night light” on the sleep and development of infants and toddlers in general.
It can be seen that the statement that “the night light sleeps will cause the child to prematurely prematurely” is only speculated on the theoretical level, but it has not been confirmed by actual research.
Finally, parents are reminded that in addition to sufficient time for the child’s good sleep, the most important thing is deep sleep, then turning off the light is an essential element. Under sleep, the body will secrete a large amount of melatonin, inhibit the excitement of the human sympathetic nerves, and let the body and mind relax and rest. However, light can inhibit the secretion of melatonin and affect the quality of sleep. Therefore, in the sleep state, it is recommended to maintain the “all black environment”. It is really necessary to open, you should choose a soft night light.
This article is scientifically controlled by Wu Wei, deputy director of the Department of Endocrinology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University. (Reprinted to Science China)