It seems every time this year some funny things start to happen.
Great sleepers go through a regression.
Poor sleepers take longer to teach.
Cabin fever takes over our attitudes.
And guess what?! ALL OF THESE ARE RELATED!
I've recently explained to many clients and family members about the power of sunshine. Typically I reserve these conversations for Time Change season (AH! It's coming!) or Time Zone travel. In these situations we use the sun as a natural way to "reset" our body clocks. The same reason can be applied for these regressions, tough teachable times, and our moods.
A little bit of sunshine does a lot of good!
Great sleepers going through a regression
Hello, my life! My toddler (2.5 years) is currently going through a bedtime struggle. She isn't actually struggling, but it takes her a good while to fall asleep (about 20-40 minutes). She does sing the entire time...which is hilariously adorable. However, I've begun to notice when we play outside the last hour or so before heading in for dinner, bath, bed...she falls asleep much quicker, and actually sleeps longer. ALL THE PRAISE HANDS!! This isn't really anything new. I've talked about it before, but it's worth re-learning again. Without medications or drastic changes I simply suggest taking your child outside to play, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up some sun. It can be for an hour or more, but for toddlers especially, mix in some high energy fun!
Poor sleepers taking longer to teach
There are times when we can do all the strategies and methods for a child, but it's the simplest things that do the trick. Sunshine being one of these! As I work with families to set routines and schedules, it is almost like we are resetting their entire body. Actually... it IS like that! Again for toddlers especially, get them outside! Have some hard, fun, fast, and sunny playtime the last hour before dinner. It's such a simple action that helps their body soak up the last bit of sunshine (which is vital to their body) and also gears their brain/body for the release of melatonin. This release of melatonin is key to helping your toddler fall asleep and sleep through the night. (But remember, turn off the screens!)
Cabin fever and our attitudes
I'm guilty of becoming quite crabby if we can't go outside or if it's gloomy out my window. A few things that help? A good dance party with my toddler, stretching, and taking advantage of slivers of sun! We are getting quite good at bundling up and rushing to the playground for 10-15 minutes of playtime.
For more information on the benefits of sunshine and our health plus your child's body clock check out these reliable sources: