Monday 2 July 2012

How to make sure the whole family get a good night’s sleep

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With all the stresses we face in everyday life, we are constantly being told about the importance of a good night’s sleep. But it is not always as simple as putting your head on the pillow and waking up eight hours later feeling refreshed. With our busy lives, a lot of people are active right up until they go to bed and they expect to be able to get straight to sleep. However our bodies need time to wind down and relax before we can catch some z’s. If you have a young family, that’s not always easy to achieve; we put so much focus on getting the children to bed we often sacrifice our own bedtime routines. But it is essential to get a good night’s sleep, in order to repair our bodies and minds from the stresses of the day. Here are a few tips to help you and the family get to the land of nod...

Your habits

Obviously some children are better at sleeping through the night than others, and it all depends how old they are so there is never a guarantee of unbroken sleep for parents. However if you adopt some better habits before you go to bed, it will improve the quality of your sleep. This is just as important, if not more so, than the quantity of sleep you get. Bed time routines are often thought to be something that your children have to follow, but not something you need for yourself. It really is important to make a routine that works for you and your family. Once the children are in bed, get some quality time to relax and wind down about an hour before you intend to go to sleep. It’s not always feasible, but if you aim for it eventually you will get the right routine that works. Spend that hour either reading, or maybe even take a warm bath as this will de-stress your mind as well as your body. Avoid having caffeinated drinks after 6pm, and if possible try not to eat in the hour before you go to sleep as your body will be working on digesting the food whilst you’re trying to get some shuteye (which isn’t great when you’re trying to sleep). If you make yourself a bedtime and stick to it, you will feel the benefits really quickly.

Your bedroom

It’s important to get your bedroom right if you want to be able to get to sleep easily. Leave distractions such as phones and laptops in another room, or if you do want your phone nearby for emergencies, make sure you finish using it before you go in your bedroom. Many sleep experts recommend not having a television in the bedroom, so you will just associate your room with sleeping rather than anything else. But it is important to find out what works for you, and what helps you unwind. Another thing to think about is your bed. It’s important to have a good quality mattress to ensure you don’t suffer any back problems, and make sure you have a comfortable pillow. The right duvet is also important depending on the time of year, as being too hot or too cold can be really detrimental to your sleeping pattern. In the summer months, the amount of light you get in the bedroom is important to get right; it might be worth investing in a blackout roller blind. This will stop the light from waking you too early in the morning and is also a great solution if you work shifts and need to sleep during the day.

These tips can be applied to all members of the family to ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. It may seem easier said than done, as we all know how unpredictable evenings can be for families. However if you get the right routine that works for you and your family, everyone will feel the benefit of having a great night’s sleep.
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