Is your family struggling to get to sleep at night? Sleep deprivation is a serious issue impacting American families, and it very well could end up impacting your health. A lack of sleep can lead to mental health issues, poor judgment, and disease. So keep yourself and your family healthy and safe by taking these simple steps to improve your sleep.
Make Sleep a Priority for Your Health
Adults and children need sleep. It’s vital for keeping our minds and bodies strong, healthy, and sound so that we can take on our everyday tasks. During sleep, vital restoration, strengthening, and processing systems are working to complete essential tasks throughout the brain and body. A lack of sleep can also lead to some serious health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, low sex drive, and depression can all be brought on or worsened by not getting enough sleep. So make sure sleep is a priority for your entire family each night.
Keep Your Bedrooms Dark and Cool
In order to fall asleep, and stay asleep, you need darkness in your room. When you dim or shut off the lights, you are encouraging your body’s production of melatonin. This allows you to drift off to sleep a little easier. Leave those lights on and you’ll find yourself having a harder time falling asleep. If light peeks in through the windows, use blinds or blackout curtains to block it out. For kids who need to sleep with a nightlight, choose one that is dim and won’t keep them up at night. Finally, set turn your thermostats down a bit to create your sleep haven. Cooler temperatures also encourage the body to sleep, so keep it below 70 to make sleep easier.
Get Some Exercise Early During the Day
If you’re not tired at night or you’re feeling restless, you may not be getting enough activity during the day. It sounds surprising, but daily exercise can help you fall asleep faster at night. Exercise prepares your mind and body for sleep by helping to relieve stress that can keep you awake. Getting a workout in or a play session for children is also a way to work off energy, leaving you feeling more tired in the evening hours. There’s some debate as to the best time to exercise, but if your evening workouts leave you too wired to fall asleep, a morning routine could help you sleep better.
Avoid Foods That Can Keep You Up
The foods you eat can also play a critical role in how well you sleep at night. Consuming spicy dishes, fatty foods, or tons of sugar can interrupt sleep pattern for children and adults. Keep this in mind as you eat throughout the day, and limit these foods at night to keep them from disturbing your sleep. Caffeine is also a common culprit when it comes to sleep problems in adults and children. Consuming caffeine after lunchtime is typically a bad idea if you’re having issues getting to sleep at night. Be on the lookout for hidden caffeine in your kids’ snacks as well. Chocolate commonly contains at least trace amounts of caffeine, but it’s enough to keep children and adults from falling asleep at night.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Humans are biologically set up with an internal clock in their brains and bodies. This circadian rhythm is what lets your body know when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep again. Keeping this clock set to the same time each day can help improve your ability to sleep at night. Figure out how much sleep your family needs, and then set a bedtime for each person. Set your alarms so that you wake up at the same time each day but avoid missing out on sleep. Sleeping in is always a good idea if it means getting enough sleep.
Breaking bad sleep habits can be a struggle, but it’s essential for your health. So take steps to improve your family’s sleep in order to increase your overall health, wellness, and happiness.
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