Climbing frames and outdoor play equipment may not just be all fun and games. The National Wildlife Federation have released a new parent guide which explains that increasing children’s outdoor play could help them sleep better.
U.S Leading The Way
Children in the U.S are currently spending an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes glued to screens and plugged into technology, which must be something similar to the time our own children spend on electronic toys. This leaves little to no time to be spending outdoors. The NWF voice concerns that children today are experiencing an indoor childhood which may contribute to sleeping problems. They estimate that children are losing approximately 10 hours of sleep a week.
Time spent running, climbing, sliding and swinging on their climbing frame is time spent outdoors in natural light. Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, has the ability to set our body clock as well as keep us alert and awake throughout the day making for an earlier and more restful sleep. Nature also has a wonderfully soothing effect on children. In fact children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have experienced significant relief from their symptoms after time spent outdoors.
Whilst indoor exercise does go some way to keeping children fit and healthy it can’t compare to the freedom of outdoor exercise. In the outdoors there are far less boundaries and children can really let loose and go wild. All this exercise is proven to release endorphins, happy hormones, as well as melatonin. This can help your children fall into a carefree sleep. Of course all this exercising does great things for muscle flexibility and strength.
Here is the recommended sleep guidelines from the report