Sleep is a need and is essential for the growth and development of our little ones. So why is it that many adults don’t prioritize their own sleep and like we do for our children? Parents need sleep, too!
A few weeks ago, I realized despite the fact that my kids were sleeping great, I wasn’t! I had gotten myself into a rut where I was struggling to get the sleep I needed as a parent. I was going to bed later, struggling to calm my mind once my head hit the pillow and even waking during the night! These newly formed sleep habits started to impact the overall quality of my sleep, and I was feeling it. Although I had been continuing to prioritize sleep for my children, I was not making it a priority for myself. I knew I had to get things back on track!
On average, healthy adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When you are well-rested, your circadian clock is in tune. This helps your mind and body fall asleep easily and wake feeling recharged. By neglecting my sleep, my circadian sleep clock was out of sync which was impacting the quality and quality of my sleep. Thankfully, I know a thing or two about sleep! I committed to becoming well-rested, developed my plan and put it into action. And within just a few days I was back on track and feeling like a well-rested parent!
If you are struggling to sleep well, here are some ways to make sleep a priority!
Sleep Tips for a Well-rested Parents
Stick to a Schedule – Go to bed and wake up around the same time each night. Being on a consistent schedule will help sync your biological sleep clock.
Get Outside – Exposure to natural light can help to sync your natural biological sleep clock.
Reduce the Screen Time – Blue light omitted from our devices can actually reduce the body’s ability to produce melatonin (the hormone we need to help us go to sleep and stay asleep). Try putting space (1-3 hrs) between screens and sleep. If that isn’t possible, consider wearing blue light blocking glasses.
- Bedtime Routine– Bedtime routines are not just for kids! Consider adding in a bedtime routine that is about 20-30 minutes prior to sleep and repeat it nightly. Turn the lights down low during this routine. Focus on calming your body and mind. If your mind feels cluttered with thoughts before sleep, journal and write down your thoughts or to-do list to free your mind. Consider incorporating some mindfulness activities like breath work and calming stretches into your nightly routine. These activities can help to quiet the mind and prepare the body for restorative sleep.
Finally, make sleep a priority. We are all better able to navigate change, stay healthy and be our best selves when we are well-rested.
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