I know that this has to have happened to you; see if you can picture the scene: You’re laying in bed, and you wake up absolutely positive that it is time to get up, but in reality it’s just the middle of the night. It’s not too big of a deal when this happens to us adults, because we’ll simply look at the alarm clock and immediately realize that we still have some quality sleeping time left before we have to get up. We gratefully roll over, and we go back to bed, right?
Young kids on the other hand, and I am thinking specifically of those under the age of 5 or so, usually haven’t quite mastered the concept of time. They may wake up in the middle of the night and decide that not only is it playtime, you need to get out of bed and come join them, too. That’s when a product such as the Good Nite Light may come in handy.
No, it’s not just a cleverly designed childrens’ night light; the Good Nite Lite is actually a behavior modification tool.
The Good Nite Lite is a “patent pending, behavioral modification device designed to promote a child’s ability to get the rest that is critical for healthy development.” It is a night light, and it has a trick up its sleeve…
Here’s the Good Nite Lite’s purpose in a nutshell:
Having a bright light, even a regular nightlight, on in a child’s room inhibits teaching them that when it is dark, it is time for sleep and when it is light, its time to get up. The objective is to educate children to associate light with the daytime activities, and darkness with nighttime and rest. Ideally, the night light would be on a timer such that the light will be bright while they first go to sleep, and automatically dim after a set time. The Good Nite Lite implements exactly this approach and, in addition, provides additional reinforcement that its time to rest by displaying an easily recognized “Moon” caricature. Children rapidly come to associate the dim unobtrusive moon image with the knowledge that it is still bedtime and they should go back to sleep. At the time you choose in the morning, the Good Nite Lite will brighten and display a cheerful “Sun” caricature letting the child know that is time to wake up and permissible to get out of bed and start the days activities. During the day, the Good Nite Lite automatically shuts itself off to eliminate any distractions and to conserve energy.
Inside the box is a roughly 6″ wide, white plastic light in a friendly smiling sun shape.
The back of the night light has an electrical plug, battery compartment, an LCD screen, an on/off switch, set, mode and select buttons. The purpose of the LCD window, Select, Mode and Set switches is to allow the setting of the current time, bed time, and wakeup time.
The current time makes sure that the light stays on track, wake up time is when the sun will shine, and bedtime is when the moon will glow.
During the daylight hours, the sun will shut off to preserve energy.
At the scheduled bed time, the moon will begin to glow a strong blue, which will “automatically dim after a set time.” This light serves as both a night light and as a visual reminder that it is bed time. The underlying idea is that you’ll discuss with your child that when the moon is out, “it is time to rest,” and that seeing the moon on their wall will reinforce the whole bedtime thing.
At the scheduled wake up time, the moon will switch to a glowing sun; visual confirmation that it is time to wake up, and it is “ok” to jump out of bed. Another aspect of the device’s behavioral modification characteristics comes from the idea that you can incrementally increase your child’s sleep periods by delaying the sun’s appearance. Sneaky, huh?!
The one caveat I found was that if you have a set weekday wakeup time and a later weekend wakeup time, you may still run into the same problem as before: you’ll think you are in for a late morning, and your child will be saying that the “sun is shining, time to get up!” And what will you say to that?
The Good Nite Lite is not only a whimsical night light, it is also a clever tool that can help your child improve their sleep patterns while learning the appropriate times to either stay in bed or get up. I also happen to think that plenty of adults will enjoy seeing the smiling sun and moon on their walls, and there’s no shame in that!
The Good Nite Light is available directly from the manufacturer.
What I Like: Happy sun and moon faces glow to display whether it is time to be in or out of bed; can be a positive training tool for children who can’t tell time yet; may help the entire family get more rest
What Needs Improvement: It is a bit pricey; no way to differentiate weekday wakeup times from weekend times.