Why Spending Time Outdoors Makes You Sleep Better
Most of us will have noticed that we (and our children!) sleep much better after a day of outdoorsy fun. My kids sleep so well when we’re away camping or after a long day exploring somewhere. Likewise, the opposite happens when we have spent too much time indoors at home – they get restless, twitchy and take ages to settle down for the night. In this blog post, let’s explore why spending time outdoors makes you sleep better.
- Sunlight Regulates Our Internal Clock
When we spend time outdoors, we are exposed to natural sunlight which regulates our internal clocks. Our internal clocks tell our bodies when it is daytime and when it is night-time and therefore lets us know when it’s time to be asleep.
Because modern life means that we’re exposed to lots of artificial light from lamps in our home and from electronic gadgets, our sleep patterns suffer.
Melatonin is a hormone that is released in our brains at night and play an important part in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. The exposure to artificial light at night suppresses our melatonin production, making it more difficult for us to fall asleep.
Our bodies need to spend time outside in the natural daylight to reset our internal clock. Spending time outdoors in the morning and early afternoon is especially beneficial. Once regulated, you should feel more alert in the day and more ready for sleep in the evening.
- Physical Activity Helps Us Feel Calm and Relaxed
Physical activities are great for our overall health. Not only does physical exercise improve fitness levels and make us stronger, but it also makes us happier. Physical activity makes the body release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine – also known as happy hormones. Exercise also naturally uses a lot of energy which helps your body feel tired. In a nutshell, physical activity makes us happy and tired which helps us feel relaxed and makes us fall asleep faster.
- Nature is Soothing
Nature is beautiful and soothing. Leaving our busy and hectic days behind and stepping out into the fresh air and spending time in gorgeous scenery will improve our moods and make us feel calmer too. The increased oxygen levels outdoors are great for us and spending time in nature is a brilliant way to reduce stress levels. After spending time outdoors in nature, we feel less stressed and are in a better and calmer mood which helps us relax, fall asleep faster and sleep for longer.
Some nature sceneries are especially soothing – lush forests and the waves of the oceans to mention a few of my own favourites.
As you can see, spending time outdoors is a great way to help improve your sleep quantity and quality. It’s so important that we get enough sleep each night and enjoying the outdoors come with so many other benefits for our mental and physical health too. Step away from the gadgets and head outside instead! You’ll sleep better yourself and you’ll make bedtime with the kids easier too.