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Why children should sometimes sleep outside

Why children should sometimes sleep outside

Some parents would never dream of letting their young children sleep outside overnight. But what if it were good for them? Experts believe that sleeping outside can provide many benefits for children, and while it might be a novel concept here in Australia, in many parts of Europe, it’s long been a popular activity.

So why should your children sometimes sleep outside?

Better sleep

A good night’s sleep is important for everyone, but especially for children. One of the biggest benefits of sleeping outside is better sleep. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Sleeping outside can also help reset the body’s natural sleep cycle, which is important for children with irregular sleep patterns.

Improved immune function

As children’s immune systems are not fully developed, they are more susceptible to illness. Exposure to the bacteria in dirt can help build up the body’s defences against illness. By letting your child sleep outside, you can help ensure that they get sick less often. In addition, sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which is important to keep immunity strong, while fresh air can improve lung function and reduce inflammation.

Better mental health

Sleeping outside can also benefit children’s mental health. Maybe it’s the fresh air, the sounds of nature or being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but being in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and can even help improve mood. Children who spend plenty of time outside also tend to have better self-esteem and body image.

Cognitive development

Studies have shown that sleeping in nature can improve attention span, memory and problem-solving skills. Some experts believe that because sleeping under the stars allows children to disconnect from technology and electronic devices, it can lead to more restful sleep and improved cognitive function. Being outside can also stimulate the senses, which can be beneficial for kids with sensory processing disorders.

Fun

Let’s not forget that sleeping under the stars can be a fun and memorable experience for children. It’s a great way to bond with friends and family through playing games, telling stories and exploring the surroundings together.

Things to consider before allowing your kids to sleep outside

There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for children when they sleep outside:

  1. Set up beds away from potential hazards, such as busy streets or fire pits.
  2. Dress your child appropriately for the weather, and bring along plenty of blankets and pillows to make sure everyone is comfortable.
  3. Use mosquito netting or repellent to protect your child from insects.
  4. Provide all the necessary supplies, such as a flashlight, water and snacks.
  5. Follow the local authority’s safety guidelines

With these simple precautions, sleeping outside can be a safe, fun and enriching activity for children.

Discover the benefits of playing outside.

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