We know that for our kids, getting a good night’s sleep is important. Typically, if children don’t get a good night’s sleep, the following day can be challenging. It throws off nap times, can create cranky kids, and ultimately wears us down!
Tweetable We know kids need a bedtime routine, so why don’t we know this for ourselves?
Parenting Coach, Bonnie Compton recommends a nightly routine. She says, “Bedtime routines are important for kids AND adults. Creating a bedtime ritual—turning off digital devices, reading, listening to soft music—helps to develop healthy sleep habits. And a good night sleep certainly helps create happier and healthier families.”
I don’t need that much sleep
So, what about those who say, “Well, I don’t need that much sleep.” There are those adults who don’t require a lot of sleep. DaVinci, for example, had what is called a polyphasic sleep schedule where he would take 20-minute naps every 4 hours for a total of 3 hours a “night.” Einstein also subscribed to little sleep.
And there are all sorts of theories about sleep. Some based on how before electricity, our bodies naturally headed to bed as the evening grew darker. And others agree that sleeping for several hours, then getting up for a few and returning to sleep for another several hours is a more natural way of sleeping.
But most of us aren’t geniuses and we require more sleep to maintain our hectic lifestyles. We may strive for eight hours, but may likely only make it to about six after watching tv and the 11 o’clock news while sitting in bed, then attempting to have a peaceful rest. Or what about the addictions to iPhones and looking at the screen (which, by the way, due to the light emitted by the screen, tells the brain it’s still the middle of the day) until we fall asleep.
Why sleep is important
It gives the body an opportunity to regenerate and re-nourish. Lack of sleep contributes to extra weight, brain fog, and can lead to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and fatigue. Sleep slows us down and re-energizes us. Here are five ways to help you get a better night’s sleep:
- Eliminate caffeine by 3 pm each day. For many years, I was a late afternoon coffee drinker. You know, to counteract the 3 pm slump. (In my opinion, a 3 pm daily nap would be awesome! Spanish culture still encourages the siesta and I’m on board with that!) Cut the caffeine by 3 pm each day and consume more water. This should help you settle down more easily come 9 or 10 pm.
Tweetable Get a good night’s sleep. Ditch the 11pm news and the tv in the bedroom!
2. Eat dinner earlier and eliminate snacks at least two hours before bedtime. If you’re still digesting food at bedtime, your tummy will be working overtime when you’re in a horizontal position. Giving the body time to digest food will help you be comfortable and fall asleep easier. In fact, an after-dinner-walk is a great way to improve digestion and work off a few calories at the same time. Also, keep it clean. Avoid processed foods, especially in the evening, which can cause inflammation in our bodies making it hard to sleep. Lots of water (yes, you may have to get up during the night) too will help flush your system of residual toxins.
3. Stop watching the news, especially at 11 pm. We all know by now that the news is negative. Therefore, if you watch the news at 11 pm and expect to get a good night’s sleep, you’re out of luck! The news will creep its way into your subconscious and disrupt any chance of sleeping soundly. Opt for listening to a news station online during the day and get your fix then.
4. Remove the TV from the bedroom. It’s bad enough we take our smartphones to bed, but again, like the news, your subconscious will replay Reality TV and crime shows during your slumber and you won’t be fully rested when you get up in the morning. In fact, removing the TV from the bedroom all together will improve many aspects of your personal life. 😉 Regarding smartphones, attempt to put it down an hour before bed and place it across the room so if you do wake up, you’re not unconsciously grabbing for it during the night.
5. Create a bedtime ritual. As mentioned above, we have routines for our children, why not ourselves. Wind down with a bath or shower, have a hot cup of TV and read a book. Put the smartphone away and talk to your significant other. Be present and have your thoughts on positive intentions as you fall off to sleep.
Do you have a bedtime routine? Please comment below and share if you found this article to be helpful.