Sunlight exposure - do we need it?

When working with clients I always conduct a review of the foundations to sleep prior to recommending any changes. I review each foundation one at a time and ensure each need is being met. This includes a review of the physical needs to sleep and one of those needs is sunlight exposure through outdoor activity and play.

Why do we need sunlight exposure?

Light helps set our biological clocks, this is particularly important for young babies who are still developing their sleep and wake cycles, it is also important for older babies and children and adults too. Lightness and darkness trigger the release of hormones to the brain. Exposure to sunlight triggers the brain to release the hormone serotonin. Serotonin helps boost your mood and promotes calmness and alertness. Darkness triggers the brain to release the hormone melatonin (the sleep hormone). When melatonin is released it signals the brain that it is time to rest. Exposure to sunlight supports more production of melatonin at night, when our bodies are exposed to darkness.

I recommend safe and healthy sunlight exposure daily. A stroll in the pram, a play in the garden, a visit to the park or whatever activity you and your children enjoy the most.

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