Sleep is incredibly important. It affects both your mental and physical health. If you don’t get enough sleep, your productivity, health, mood, and even your weight can be negatively affected. The problem is, sleep is often not a priority for parents. In addition, there are many outside factors that interfere with a restful night.
Here are 5 tips to make sure you are getting the rest that your body needs – night after night.
#1: Set the environment
The ideal bedroom is cool, dark and quiet.
The temperature is best between 60-67 degrees, and it is good to eliminate as much noise and light as possible. Essentially, take away as many things as possible that would potentially distract from your sleep.
Also, try and use your bed just for sleeping. This can help train your mind to associate it with just sleeping and make winding down at night easier.
#2: Watch what you do during the day
Sleep isn’t only affected by what you do at night. There are things you can do throughout the day to ensure your night goes as smoothly as possible:
- DO exercise. Even just a 10 minute walk can help you sleep better, but the harder the exercise the better. If you are doing a moderate to vigorous exercise, try and be done with it at least three hours before you sleep, or it could have a negative impact.
- DO eat right. Too much sugar or carb heavy foods can still affect you at night. Limiting those foods are good for your sleep and diet.
- DO get some sunlight. If you get can get a lot of sun during the day, this can help regulate your sleep cycles at night. Go on walks, open blinds, etc.
- DON’T take naps. If you can take naps during the day and still fall asleep at bedtime, then that is fine. If you find that you are having trouble sleeping at night, then avoid naps, especially those in the afternoon or after dinner.
#3: Set a bedtime routine
Your body has a natural cycle that it wants to follow to sleep and wake up.
- DON’T use electronics. Try and shut your electronics off 1-2 hours before you sleep. The screens can interfere with your body’s sleep signals. This means no laptops, phones, or television.
- DON’T eat things that interfere with sleep. Limit things like caffeine, nicotine, big heavy meals, alcohol, or too many liquids.
- DO eat light snacks. Some people find that having a small snack before bed actually helps them sleep. Milk, yogurt, fruit, half a sandwich are all light enough snacks that are okay for around bedtime. (You should still try and be done an hour before bedtime)
- DO create a nighttime ritual. Create some relaxing habits to signal to your body that it is time to sleep. For example:
- Read a book
- Take a bath
- Listen to soothing music
- Stretch or meditate
- Listen to an audiobook
#4: Get in sync
Go to sleep and wake up a consistent, set times. This helps to set your body’s internal clock which helps you fall asleep faster and keep you asleep. To stay regular, don’t sleep in, even on weekends. If you need more sleep, a daytime nap would be better.
#5: Don’t stress
If you still can’t sleep, don’t force it. If you find yourself awake for more than 15 minutes, try doing a non-stimulating activity like meditation or reading a book, then try again.
Don’t do anything involving electronics or the light emitted from it will signal your body that it is time to wake up and have the opposite effect.
We hope these tips will help you get a good night’s sleep every night. For tips on how to get your child get a good night’s sleep, check out our post.