The family sleep struggle
Exhausted parents, we need to chat…
Getting a full night’s rest is vital to both mental and physical success because it is in the deeper stages of sleep that the body revitalizes and restores itself. During this stage, energy stores are rejuvenated and the immune system can be boosted.
Knowing all this, it’s no wonder that sleep is essential to keep the operations of your family running smoothly, yet it is one of the first things we sacrifice in our day-to-day life.
If your family is struggling with sleep, read these five things you can do right now to get your entire family sleeping better tonight!
Create your sleep sanctuaries
The bedrooms in your house should be places that feel calming, relaxing and inviting. Making sure your sleep sanctuaries feel this way can be very helpful for initiating sleep.
Removing toys and clutter from bedrooms is a great first step. Then, since the sun is “staying up late” and “getting up early” through the start of fall, you should make sure the blinds in your bedrooms are blocking out light. The late sun also has a habit of heating up bedrooms, so set the thermostat somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees an hour before bedtime.
Turn off your devices
Computer, TV, and phone screens all emit blue light, which tricks our internal clocks into thinking that it’s still daytime. My advice… Power down the electronics at dinnertime and keep them off until the next morning.
In order to minimize temptation, don’t charge devices near beds! You can consider setting up a family “charging station” in your laundry room or home office to create family time that is screen-free!
Get into a routine
Creating and implementing a bedtime routine keeps our minds and bodies happy. We always like to know what’s next! It doesn’t matter how old your children are, a good sleep routine is essential for preparing the body for sleep.
Routines are not just about getting physically ready for bed. In fact, through routine, signals are sent to the brain that bedtime is approaching, and the brain starts shutting down in preparation for sleep.
Be mindful of the time
The best time to put babies, toddlers and school-aged children to bed is between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. This ensures that they are getting a solid 11-13 hours of nighttime sleep which is the recommended amount up until about 10 years old!
For you, if you can hit the 8-hour mark, you are doing great! To do so, you may need to set an alarm to signal for yourself that it is time to start wrapping up your Pinterest use or folding that last pile of laundry, and get yourself ready for bed.
This timeline might not be attainable every night, but if you can get into a habit of getting your family into bed a little earlier, your bodies will learn to crave this sleep which will incentivize you to do it more often.
Make time for the outdoors
Spending time outside is a great way to burn off extra energy, soak up Vitamin D, spend quality time with your family, and boost production of our natural sleepy hormone, melatonin. If the outdoor time can total 90 minutes a day, that is most recommended for aiding in sleep quality, but any amount of time in the later afternoon or early evening can be helpful.
Tonight could aim for eating dinner outside and then taking a quick walk around the block. It is amazing what natural light and endorphins can do for syncing up our natural body clock and making sleep a little easier to come by.
What’s in it for me?
I know this seems like a lot of work, and in reality, it can be. But, if you are expecting your family to function like a well-oiled machine, you’ve got to get everyone sleeping better!
Doesn’t it sound great to have battle-free bedtimes, smooth morning wake ups and an overall happy and well-rested family? That should be motivation enough for cleaning up the “sleep hygiene” in your house.
And as an added perk… It’s far easier to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite Netfix series if the kids are already in bed, right?
About the Author
Brittney Stefanic is a certified sleep consultant specializing in full-family sleep solutions. She gets that when our little ones don't sleep, you don’t sleep and then your family struggles to function! You can find out more about what she does to support clients at brittneystefanicsleep.com, follow her on Facebook for sleep tips and tricks, @brittneystefanicsleep and see photos of what life could be like if you were a little more rested on Instrgram, @brittneystefanicsleep.
The MOB Nation is an alliance of mom business owners who have joined together for community, support, and networking.
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