This post is brought to you in collaboration with Sarah Cummings from the Sleep Advisor!
Best Bedtime Habits to Help the Whole Family Sleep Better!
Sleep; you need it whether you like it or not! The chances are that if you’re a parent, you’re craving it, but the younger ones in the family might not quite so much. This means that getting some structured routines, in place – just like annual traditions – could make all the difference in the long-run and short-term too.
How much sleep do we need?
The National Sleep Foundation states that:
- Newborn babies should sleep between 12 and 18 hours each full day.
- Toddlers (under 3) need to 12 to 14 hours of sleep.
- Children aged between 3 and 5 should have 11 to 13 hours
- kids aged 5 to 10 need 10 to 11 hours each evening
- Teens, whether they want to argue this or not, should be (because they need to) have just over 9 hours of sleep per night to function at optimum level.
- Adults need 7 to 8 hours a night (it may seem like a dream to many parents – but that’s the amount to strive for)
If you want to get the whole family in sync, then you can start by following these tips for the best bedtime habits to get into so that you can all get as much sound sleep as possible.
Reconsider Your Association With Sleep
The feeling of having a decent night’s sleep when you wake up in the morning is revered. You know when you’ve slept well because everything else seems like less hard work.
You have to keep in mind that there really is no healthy way to substitute sleep, and this goes for everyone in the family. The benefits are there for all to see. You may need to instill the thought process that cutting out anything other than what you need to have is acceptable.
While you’re teaching your kids good habits to sleep better, you should also be reaffirming this with yourself too! Make sure that you practice what you preach, and you will see the upside to being well-rested.
Make Bedtime “A Thing”
Bedtime is a super way for the entire family to exit the fast lane and begin to wind down for the day together. It also gives you a pleasant time to reconnect with one another.
Humans love routine, and you can all be aware that this time is set aside to spend some quality, relaxed time together in a chilled environment. Children certainly need this type of thing in their lives and you just might too.
Pick an age-appropriate bedtime. An early bedtime is paramount here. If your little ones are rested well, they’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep better on the whole. Bonus: they will also stay sleeping longer in the morning and will likely wake up closer to when you do.
Create a Routine
As we mentioned earlier, humans crave routine, and this is why you should stick to it once it’s been established.
Use a guideline of a half hour routine to make sure that everything pre-bedtime is accomplished, including your own routine. Go into the kid’s rooms and lower the stimulation levels. Do whatever works for you all, but once you find something that works; stick to it.
Do you know what you will find when the routine is established? Your children won’t fight bedtime because they will anticipate the period of wind-down. That means meaning less stress and more sleep all-round!
Make the Bedroom a Sanctuary
Three things to bear in mind when making the ideal bedroom space for optimum sleep; dark, quiet, cool.
Add these three ingredients to the perfect mattress, which you can find through The Sleep Advisor, and you’ve fashioned an environment that is advantageous for premium sleep.
For all adults: your bedroom space is not your office, your lounge area, TV area, or your dining room. That precious space for is sleeping and sex.
For the children in the family; they should have something similar. Consider blackout blinds and use white noise machines to assist in canceling out any exterior noise. We personally use fans for combined white noise and air movement.
Communicate and Educate the Whole Family on the Necessity of Sleep
“Head straight to bed”. Does this possibly sound familiar from your childhood? If so, then you can likely understand why your kiddos might have a hard time complying to this instruction.
Start, instead, by explaining and discussing this with them. Talking through what sleep is and how it will make them feel better will help them learn the importance of sleep.
Ask your kids questions about how they feel when they don’t sleep well, and how they think you are when you’re under-rested. See what their answers are. Chances are that they’ll realize that poor sleep relates to a grumpy mummy and daddy, and they will be cranky as well!
These are just 5 simple ideas from the list of ideal habits you can get into as a family to sleep better. But give them a try and see how they work for you!
Tell us in the comments below. What struggles do your family face when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep?
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