How to Practice Better Sleep Hygiene as a Family

If you’re a parent, you’ll know only too well how challenging it can be. Whether you’ve recently given birth, or you have little ones running riot around the house, it’s important that you have the energy and stamina to get through the day, helping to ensure your loved ones are well looked after.

With that in mind, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. If you struggle with your sleep, there are lots of tips that you can use to your advantage, helping you to drift off and get some much-needed shuteye. To make sure you and your loved ones are getting enough sleep, here are a few things you can do to practice better sleep hygiene as a family.

Limit Daytime Naps

Whether you’re tending to a newborn, or you have toddlers running around the house, keeping your little ones occupied, safe, and happy can be exhausting at times, making a daytime nap more appealing than ever. However, when it comes to nighttime, you may find it more difficult to drift off. If you can, try and avoid napping in the day as it could end up leading to sleep deprivation and insomnia.

Avoid Stimulants

There are various stimulants that you and your loved ones are best to avoid before hitting the hay, such as caffeine. While caffeine may give you a boost when it comes to doing the household chores or ferrying the kids from A to B, too much can make it difficult to get to sleep. If you do need your caffeine fix, it’s best to drink it before noon.

Regular Exercise

We all know how important regular exercise is for our mental and physical health. If you or any of your loved ones are having difficulty sleeping, you may need to incorporate more fitness and exercise into your day to day routine. While exercise promotes continuous sleep, it’s best to steer clear of rigorous exercise before you get into bed as this can cause difficulty initiating sleep. As a parent, it can be hard to find the time for health and fitness, so even going for a quick jog around the neighborhood can do wonders and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Eat the Right Foods

There are various foods that you are best avoiding before going to sleep. Fried or fatty meals can not only trigger indigestion for some people, but also lead to painful heartburn which can cause disruption to your sleep. To combat this, make sure that you and your family are following a healthy, balanced diet which is packed full of fruits, vegetables, and protein.

Have a Comfortable Pre-Bedtime Routine

Establishing a regular nightly routine can help your body to understand that it’s time for bed – whether it’s by taking a relaxing warm bath or shower, immersing yourself in a book, or doing some light stretches, all of which can help you relax and unwind before getting into bed. As a parent, trying to maintain a regular sleeping routine can be difficult, especially if you need to wake up in the night to tend to your children. However, if you live with your spouse, it may be worth taking it in turns to do the night feed to ensure you get some much-needed rest.

Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment

It’s important that your bedroom is a sanctuary that enables you to relax and unwind after a busy day. If your mattress or pillows are looking a little worse for wear, they may cause disruption with your sleep. If you share a bed with your partner, there are various other things that you can do to promote better sleep, such as purchasing mouth strips if you snore, which act as a snoring sleep aid. Mouth strips are better than using tape and can reduce open-mouth snoring. Also, make sure to switch the television off before hitting the hay as it may disrupt sleep. If you find it hard to sleep in silence, you may benefit from having a fan running which can be used as background ‘white noise’.

Steering clear of daytime naps, avoiding stimulants like caffeine before bed, incorporating regular exercise into your routine, as well as creating a relaxing sleep environment are just a few key tips on how to practice better sleep hygiene as a family. As a parent, it’s important that you set a good example for your children when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, so be sure to take all the tips listed onboard that you and your loved ones can use.

Liz Coyle

Liz is a Scottsdale-based writer and mom of two young children and one not so young Boston Terrier. She is a lover of cooking, travel, and any activities she can do with the kids. She loves to share her experiences of being a high-strung, type a mom in an imperfect world.

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