When your family gets a good night’s sleep, everyone functions at their highest level the next day. However, all the stress and noise from our day-to-day lives can disrupt sleep and leave you feeling grumpy and fatigued. If you want to help every member of your family get better rest every night, try these helpful tips that wind down the body and mind so you are ready to catch some Zzz’s when you hit the hay.
Create a Solid Sleep Schedule
If your kids aren’t already on a regular routine that gives them time to unwind and get ready for bed, it’s time to change that. A steady sleep schedule isn’t just an organizational tool. When your children grow accustomed to it, their bodies will naturally start to tire down as they conduct their normal getting-ready-for-bed activities. Plus, kids do really well with routines. The structure helps to eliminate anxiety, provide a sense of security and build self-esteem.
Children need nine to 11 hours of sleep a night to perform at their optimal level. Pick a bedtime that allocated enough hours for ample sleep. About an hour before that bedtime, make sure all blue light emitting electronics are off so kids can start getting ready. From there, you can draw a bath, brush teeth, get into pajamas, read a story– whatever it is you need them to do to be ready for bed. Stick to that routine day after day, and your children will take this healthy sleep habit with them into adulthood.
If you are waking up with aches and pains, your mattress may be the culprit. A quality mattress is a crucial part of getting a great night’s sleep. The general rule-of-thumb is to replace a mattress every seven to 10 years, but even a younger mattress may need to be replaced if it’s giving you back pain.
A big trend nowadays is buying mattresses online. The ease of skipping the mattress store and having your new bed delivered straight to your home appeals to many. But if you are going the online route, be sure to protect yourself and your purchase. Read as many mattress reviews as possible and be wary of possible fakes that the company could have paid for. Furthermore, make sure the mattress you buy has at least a month-long trial period, a solid warranty and an effortless return policy in case it doesn’t work out.
Lower the Thermostat
Believe it or not, the right room temperature can make or break your night’s rest. Studies have shown when you lower the thermostat before bedtime, it signals a drop in you body’s core temperature. As your body cools down, the brain receives its signal that now is the time for sleep. While each individual’s perfect sleep temperature is different, experts suggest you lower it down to the 60 to 65 F degrees range.
Try a Weighted Blanket
If you or your children have issues quieting the mind and body before bed, anxiety may be at work. There are a lot of ways to ease anxiety before bed, but a very effective tool has recently garnered a lot of popularity. Weighted blankets have been used by medical professionals for years to provide comfort for patients. The weight has a calming effect similar to that of a loving hug. Not only can they help with pre-bed anxiety, weighted blankets may also help people with other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome. If you want to try a weighted blanket to help your children sleep, make sure you don’t buy one too heavy. Children and young teens need a blanket that is no more than 10 percent of their body weight, plus one or two extra pounds.
A good night’s sleep can make a world of difference the next day. To keep your family happy and healthy, establish a steady bedtime routine that encourages everyone to wind down. If you are waking up with aches and pains, a new mattress can provide comfort. Lower the temperature before bedtime to make the brain and body feel drowsy. Finally, soothe nighttime anxiety sans medication with the help of a weighted blanket.