parenting

Outdoor Play: 10 Tips to Reduce Sleep Deprivation in Children

metime managementparentingages and stages

Sleep—My son came into our room the other night at 11:00 p.m. and told me that he was having a hard time falling asleep. It got me thinking: "What had he been doing all day that would keep him up at night?"

He went to school, did his homework, watched TV, and played a few video games. Perhaps he didn't get enough "green time."

A new report and parent guide "Green Time for Sleep Time" from the National Wildlife Federation says that most of America's children are sleep deprived because they are not getting enough natural sleep-inducing light. When kids are not exercising and are over stimulated with electronic media during the day, it is affecting their quality of sleep at night.

This summer, our family went to Lake Powell in northern Arizonia for 5 days.

We enjoyed doing awesome outdoors activities in nature like surfing...

 

...and cliff jumping.

While we were there, we all fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow each night.

Now that we are home and back into our new school routine, I am noticing that we are spending more time indoors. Taking time out of our busy schedules to make sure we are not only exercising but that we are getting outside and exposing ourselves to natural sunlight is critical to helping us continue to get enough sleep.

10 Tips to Reducing Sleep Deprivation in Children

Here are 10 tips to help reduce sleep deprivation in children by having them take advantage of natural sunlight.

  1. Go to the park and enjoy nature.
  2. Help with yard work or gardening projects.
  3. Ride your bike around the block.
  4. Play catch in the yard with you, their siblings, or other neighborhood friends.
  5. Take your dog for a walk.
  6. Play outside at recess.
  7. Go on nature walks or hikes. If your children likes photography, have them take photographs of their adventures.
  8. Participate in an outdoor individual or team sport.
  9. Oversee an outdoor scavenger hunt in your backyard, in your neighborhood, at the park, or at another outdoor location in your community (for example, the zoo, botanical gardens, etc.).
  10. Have a picnic or BBQ.

The benefits of sleep mean a happier and calmer child, and one who can focus more on important activities. As a parent, what is not to love about that?

What outdoor activities help your kids fall asleep at night? What tips do you have for reducing sleep deprivation in children?

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