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Centerpointe Research

Don’t Frighten Children

(In progress)  By telling them there are monsters in the dark!  Things look very different in  By telling them there are monsters in the dark!  Things look very different in very low light.  Go to bed and be sure you have a small night light on.  When you wake up later in the night, your eyes will have adjusted to the low light and you will be able to see some things but only in black and white (like old movies and TV programs) and they will be fuzzy around the edges.  You will notice that things don’t look the same and easily recognizable objects in daylight or when the lights are turned on are not so recognizable.  Is it impossible to see something that looks like a monster in these conditions until you turn the lights on and then you are able to see that something that looked like a monster is probably something that is easily recognizable in full light.  Yes, nightlights help us get around when we get up at night but they don’t give off the same amount of light as regular lights do or as the sun does when it is shining into the room.

Now here is a more scientific explanation.  You have two types of receptors in your retinas at the back of your eye, rods, and cones, and one type is more active in bright light while the other is more active in dim light.  There are fewer cones than rods.  Cones help our vision perceive details and colors.  They are very precise.  Rods are more prevalent but don’t help you see as clearly as many rods go to one nerve while each cone goes to a specific nerve.

No wonder it is spooky in the dark.  If you can be curious about what you can see in the near dark then you won’t be so easily scared of the dark.  However leaving lights can make it difficult to sleep.  Melatonin  which is needed for sleep production  is not produced when it is light rather than dark.  Many kinds of things that we keep on in the room where we sleep can interfere with our sleep. They only have to give off a little glow to do this.  There are quides on the internet as to what you can keep on in terms of light production that interferes the least with melatonin production.

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