Going for a walk has many benefits for parents and children. Exposure to sunlight will reset each person’s body clock. Our body clock tells the body when to wake up and when it is time for sleep. It tells all the body systems how to function within a 24-hour circadian rhythm.
Newborns can be born with their days and nights turned around. It is exhausting to have a new baby that does not want to sleep at night but is difficult to wake up to eat during the daytime. The sunlight on the baby’s face while you go for a walk will help the baby adjust to the correct day/night schedule. Limit the direct sun exposure to about ten to fifteen minutes.
For older babies or toddlers the sunlight will reset their body clock each day and prepare their body for sleep that night. Your child will feel tired and ready for sleep at bedtime, making bedtime go much easier.
For tired and exhausted parents, the sunlight exposure will help their child sleep better which will give the parents more opportunity for sleep. The parent’s body, following time outdoors, will be ready to receive restorative sleep at bedtime and wake more refreshed.
The sunlight entering the eyes while you are in the natural light will set the body’s master clock. The master clock tells the body when to make the physical changes of releasing melatonin or dropping the body’s temperature which prepares it for sleep. Those physical changes make falling asleep much easier.
Have you noticed how, if you are feeling tired or sluggish, and then step outside for few minutes that your mood and energy level changes? The light exposure gives you more energy during your awake time and sends a stronger message to your body to prepare for sleep at bedtime.
Newborn babies frequently have an evening fussy time. Taking the baby outside for a walk will help baby and parents feel better. The sights, sounds and feel of being outside can turn a grumpy baby into a happy baby. A change of scenery and the outdoor air will help sleepy, tired new parents feel re-energized.
Older babies and toddlers also love going for a walk. There are many new adventures and places and things to discover on your walk. Every new rock, leaf, or bug is exciting to your child. It is an opportunity for the parent to see the world through their child’s eyes – even the bugs sometimes.
Exposure to sunlight benefits sleep for both children and parents.
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