My son, who will be turning eight next month, has developed the habit of reading in bed after we leave him in his room at night. Last night, he was awake and reading Harry Potter at 10 p.m. (his bedtime is 8:30). As much as we want to encourage his independent reading, we think it has to be detrimental for him to be losing so much sleep (he used to fall asleep pretty much between 8:30 and 9, and he almost always pops up out of bed ready to go right at 7 a.m. - weekday or weekend. But I have noticed he seems a bit tired in the morning these days.
Any advice? And unplugging the lamp isn't a good option, as he's scared of the dark and always goes to sleep with it on (we turn it off before we go to bed).
are you sure he's still scared of the dark, or is that an excuse for you to leave the light on so he can read?
a lot of kids love to read, but they love to play more so they won't stop and read until they are forced to quit playing. you could try stopping playtime a bit earlier and give him a designated reading time before bedtime.... not that he would HAVE to read at that time, but that if he wants to read, this is when he can.... and of course anytime before that designated time is fine too.... but that after bedtime is declared, there is no more reading or playing at all! that way, you're encouraging him to read, but you're also teaching him self discipline by helping him to follow that "there is a time and a place for everything rule...."
I would try putting him to bed a little earlier and allow that earier time to be reading time. Turn out the lamp at 8:30 and put on a night light instead. A night light should be good enough light to help him not be scared, but not enough light to allow the late night reading session.
That is good that your child wants to read....
The time is by your discretion based on how much he is motivated in the morning...if he gets up without any problems then time is ok for him. However, if he is kinda sluggish in the morning may have to set time back in 30min intervals to see how he adjusts to it.