No matter your age, social status, job or religion, one thing stays constant – the need for quality sleep.
With a good night’s rest under your belt, you rise feeling like you can take on the entire world. On the other hand, after a night spent tossing and turning, it can be an uphill struggle to make it to the end of the following day.
Study after study has shown that sleep is good for just about every single aspect of our lives, from our physical health, mental health, relationships, careers, and even our appearance.
How to Encourage Good Sleep Habits for the Family
Yep, research has even proven that those of us who sleep better, look better. What’s more, if you’re looking to lose weight, then better sleep can help here too!
Just knowing we should be getting more sleep and actually being able to do so are two very different things entirely. I know I shouldn’t eat that last slice of pecan pie, it doesn’t stop me swallowing it whole does it?!
Don’t despair, however, before you go reaching for a handful of sleeping pills have a quick look at my top 3 tips on how to encourage good sleep habits in your family.
Get into a healthy sleep routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. Our poor overworked brains simple adore routine. One of the best things you can do to improve your own sleep, and that of your family, is to get into some healthy routines. Chief amongst these is sticking to a bedtime. That means going to bed at the same time each and every single day, weekends included.
When you begin to hit the hay at the same time each night your brain begins to anticipate this and you’ll find that it becomes easier and easier to fall asleep. This is because your body will be ready and pre-prepared for sleep by the time you climb into bed.
If you don’t already have a bedtime it’s very easy to work out when it should be. Simply calculate when you have to be up in the morning and then wind the clock back eight hours. Whatever time that turns out to be is your bedtime. Do this for every member of your family and you’ll soon begin to reap the benefits of better sleep.
And remember – bedtimes are not just for children. They are for all of us.
Make the hour before bed stress-free
There’s a lot of easy wins when it comes to improving your families sleep, one could just be making sure everyone is sleeping on the something fit for purpose. Another is making sure caffeine is off the menu after lunch. Other habits are harder to break.
One of the biggest problems we all have in today’s fast-paced modern world is that despite being overworked and overtired we still can’t get to sleep when we place our head on the pillow. Our minds seem to be whirring at a million miles an hour when we need them to be in a state of deep relaxation. Why is this? Well, we are overstimulated that’s why.
Our lives are permeated by screens. Often these screens are attached to interactive devices like smartphones and tablets. The impact these technological wonders has on our brain is not great at all for our sleep.
Firstly the blue light emitted by screens plays havoc with our bodies production of melatonin, this being the hormone that makes us drowsy. Secondly, the interactive nature of these devices has the same effect as playing a computer game. The result is overstimulation.
The solution is to build in some screen-free wind-down time into your family’s pre-bed routine.
That means switching all screens off at least an hour before bed. Yep, that includes smartphones. It also includes any bright overhead lights. Too much light in a house mimics daylight and will keep you all awake, instead switch to nice side lamps.
Keep it cool
This one will surprise a lot of people but one of the biggest reasons your family might not be sleeping too well could be temperature. The human body needs to cool down in order to sleep. Having an overly warm house could lead to your family sleeping badly.
A great trick is to have a hot bath or shower before bed. Firstly it’s a nice relaxing screen-free pre-bed activity. Secondly the second you step out of that hot water you experience a massive thermal dump, heat rushes away from the core of your body and this will make you nice and sleepy.
So why not work having a shower or bath into the pre-bed routine of your family. Then ensure that blankets aren’t too heavy, the heating isn’t turned up too high and that windows are left slightly ajar. You may get a few complaints from little ones who are used to being brought up in a furnace but they will soon drift off to sleep.
Well, there you have it sleep fans – three ways to encourage better sleep for you and your family. They worked for me and I see no reason why they shouldn’t work for you too. Good luck and sweet dreams!
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About the Author:
Hi there, I’m Sarah and I just adore a good snooze.
In fact, I’m so addicted to sleeping that I turned it into my day job.
I now spend my waking hours researching and blogging about all things slumber. Getting better rest changed my life and I believe it can do the same for all of us!
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