We spend a lot of time talking about child sleep over here, but it’s important for adults to pay attention to their sleep habits as well. Here are five things you can do tonight to get more sleep!
1.Make your room dark
A sleep area should be dark and cool– think of a cave when you think of the best space for sleeping. Put up blackout shades, turn down the alarm clock light (move it away from your bedside table) and remove nightlights.
2. Step away from the phone
We all do it. We check our phones right before bed (we have to know what Facebook is doing before we turn it!). However, this checking can be the culprit for why you have trouble sleeping. Blue light inhibits our melatonin production and can make it hard for us to fall asleep easily. Ideally we should be turning off all screens (phone, tv, tablet) at least 1-2 hours before bedtime. It’s also best to keep the phone out of the bedroom so that you aren’t tempted to use it at bedtime!
3. Declutter your sleep space.
Make your sleep space a sanctuary– one where you will look forward to laying your head on a pillow each night. The bedroom should be used for sleeping and sex only! Get the piles of bills, bags for clothing donations, office workspace out of the bedroom and you will get more sleep!
4. Limit alcohol
I know plenty of parents (including myself!) who love to have a glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed. This is fine in moderation, but imbibing in too much alcohol leads to poor sleep. Reach for some warm milk, chamomile tea, or tart cherry juice some of the time instead. All help induce drowsiness.
5. Set a timer to wind down and go to bed!
As parents, there is always one more thing we need to do before going to bed, but this often leads to falling asleep well after our bodies are saying we are tired. Set a timer (on that phone you need to shut off) to go off about an hour before bedtime. Then use that as a signal to wrap things up and start getting ready to sleep. Give yourself the time to have a relaxing wind down routine. It doesn’t have to be super long every night, but it should be repetitive. Take the time to clear your mind and meditate for a few minutes, take a bath or shower, breathe, and get into bed. Your body will respond well to having a consistent routine.
If you try any of these tips, we’d love to know how they work with you! Remember that it takes time to make changes and for our bodies to respond, so try to be consistent for at least 2 weeks. Hopefully you will be get more sleep soon!