You have probably heard about how important sunlight is for your general health. Sunlight increases the production of serotonin, which is known to improve your mood. Sunlight also increases your energy as well as aids in getting vitamin D into your system, which helps with maintaining your bone strength. But what about the importance of sunlight to sleep?
Sunlight is incredibly important for sleep. Light helps regulate the brain’s internal clock. Our sleep clock (circadian rhythm) uses sunlight to keep our bodies in sync with the world’s normal day-night patterns. This means that the morning sun signals the body to wake up and helps with alertness and energy. The approaching darkness at night helps prepare our bodies for sleep by releasing melatonin. The melatonin is released into your blood and makes you feel sleepy.
It is important to make sure your children get out and about in the morning sun. For little babies, take them out in the stroller for a morning walk, and for toddlers and older children take them out in the backyard or to the playground to have fun, get sunlight and use up some energy. If you can’t get out for any reason, use the sun streaming in the windows to give them a healthy dose of sunlight.
It is important to also be aware that insufficient darkness at night can lead to frequent or prolonged wakings. This is why blackout curtains are incredibly important to help maintain darkness while your children sleep. Children are especially sensitive to sunlight, so it is important to make sure that the early morning sun isn’t sneaking in before it is wake up time.