Sleep Hygiene: Good for children, great for adults
Hauling children off to bed can become at difficult task. Equally, taking ourselves off to bed at a reasonable time can be a challenge. By implementing simple sleep hygiene and preparing our bodies for sleep makes achieving quality sleep possible.
Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert, coach and founder of DivorceAnswered.com.au, shares tips for getting a great night sleep thanks to good sleep hygiene:
When I am lacking in sleep, I know that I become more fractious, highly strung and short with the people around me. The nights that I work late always mean disjointed sleep and many hours pondering over work. Juggling work, children and home are a lot to take on and it needs to be balanced with solid sleep. I know I need 8 hours of sleep every night to feel on top of my game. If I cut corners, I need a siesta to catch up or else ‘cranky mummy’ comes out!
The benefits of having ample sleep includes:
- Greater emotional stability. Being better able to regulate and even boost your moods is a wonderful benefit. Optimal sleep has been attributed to reducing depression, managing stress levels and helps you to feel good!
- Imrpoved feeling of Vitality. When you have sufficient sleep, you feel better and feel more inclined to be more energetic and motivated. Accordingly, the vitality and additional movement can lead to weight loss
- A more Youthful appearance. Sleep helps reduce dark circles under your eyes. These circles are often caused by insufficient sleep and rest
- Helps your body repair and heal (which is why sleeping and resting when sick is so important). Some studies also say that sleep also helps to reduce inflammation
- Improved memory. When well rested, your brain fires on ‘all cylinders’ and accessing your memory bank. Accordingly, some people will go as far to say that sleep helps improve your grades
For those of you who are reading this article and thinking “yes, I want better sleep” or “I want more sleep,” let’s work with all senses and create the best environment for perfect sleep:
- Salt lamp. Himalayan Salt lamps produce ions that cleanses the air. It offers a at soft glow (compared to the bright, harsh light other lamps offer. Be sure to select an appropriate bulb and consider whether you want it light as a night light
- Lavender oil. Use a diffuser, incense stick or soak in a bath with lavender oil. It is great for the entire family to promote relaxation and calm
- Relaxing music. Music that is soothing and without words is ideal prior to sleep. Try listening to ‘sounds of nature’ or relax music. This creates an auditory sleepy ambiance
- Turn off the TV, put away the phone. 2 hours before (or for as long as you can), try to refrain from using electronic devices. So, limit the television viewing, the chats on the phone, try not to work close to bed time for the best quality sleep
- Drink camomile tea. Camomile tea is known for it’s soothing and calming properties. If you don’t like the taste of camomile tea, there are lots of herbal blends that may include orange blossom that can aid in unwinding
- Stick to a set bed time. Routine is a must! There are so many benefits for having the same sleep time and the same routine when going to bed. Your mobile phone may have a ‘sleep’ app or you can schedule a series of alarms which reminds you to get ready for bed and wake up
- Wake up alarm. Change your wake-up alarm from a loud buzzer to something more gentle that becomes gradually louder. It isn’t nice to wake with a shock. If you are concerned about sleeping through it, then set a second or third re-occurring alarm 5 or 10 minutes apart. Also consider moving your phone or alarm clock further away from the bed so you have to get up and out of bed to turn it off
- Meditation. Meditating twice a day (in the least) before sleep and when you wake makes a huge difference. The first 20 mins of your day determines the way the day will unfold. If you have children, perhaps conduct a guided meditation as a treat for getting into bed and to help them relax
- Sleep in a dark room. A cool, dark room promotes sleep - You may have noticed that you sleep better and more consistently in winter than you do in the summer months…
- Schedule 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Getting optimal amounts of sleep every night means that you will be more productive, have more clarity and a clearer head for better decision making
- Keep pen and paper by the bed. Late at night, if you think of something that you need to do or have to remember, write it down. It will help to clear your mind, allowing the space to relax and sleep
- Read a book. Reading a book helps slow your internal rhythm and offers you something interesting to talk with friends about. Some would say that it also tires their eyes…
- Make the bedroom your sanctuary. Remove any televisions from your bedroom. Have one small light for reading. Ensure that you have a pillow that supports your head and neck. Have linen on the bed that encourages you to get into bed and want to relax there
When you are going through an emotional time like separation, your sleep becomes more crucial than ever before. Make a plan to commit to ideal sleep hygiene for 2 weeks or a month and notice the remarkable benefits!
If you having troubles sleeping or staying asleep please consult your GP or local doctor. Equally, if you feel like anxiousness, sadness, depression or hyper-activity is out of your control or causing you upset, please also consult your local doctor for strategy and advice.