Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, but also exhausting, experiences you will ever have. You are constantly on the go, taking care of your little ones and making sure they are happy and healthy. It’s no wonder that so many parents struggle to get a good night’s sleep! If you’re finding it hard to catch some Zs, here are five ways to improve your sleep hygiene.
1. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
One of the best ways to improve your sleep hygiene is to establish a regular sleep schedule. When your body is used to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, it will be easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. So, do your best to stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
2. Create a calm and relaxing bedtime routine.
Another way to help improve your sleep hygiene is by creating a calm and relaxing bedtime routine. This could involve taking a warm bath, reading a book, or stretching before getting into bed. By doing something calming before trying to sleep, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep quickly.
3. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet
Your bedroom should be a haven for rest and relaxation. To help make it more conducive for sleep, make sure it is dark and quiet. Consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out any unwanted light, and use earplugs or white noise if you live in a noisy area.
4. Avoid caffeine late in the day
If you want to have a solid sleep through the night without any interruptions, avoid caffeine late in the day. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours, so if you drink it too close to bedtime, you may find it harder to drift off—and harder to stay asleep once you finally do fall asleep.
5. Put away all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime
It’s important to disconnect from electronics before trying to sleep because the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your natural circadian rhythm and make it harder for your head to hit the pillow feeling sleepy. So, put away all electronics—including your phone, laptop, TV, etc at least 30 minutes before bedtime so you can unwind and relax in peace before trying to drift off for the night.
If you’re finding it difficult to get enough rest as a parent, know that you’re not alone! Many parents struggle with insomnia or poor sleep quality due largely in part due to chaotic schedules and stress levels that come with being responsible for tiny humans 24/7/365. However, there are things you can do proactively to improve your sleep hygiene starting with establishing (and sticking) to regular sleep schedule; making sure your bedroom is dark quiet; avoiding caffeine later in day; unplugging from electronics screens at least 30 minutes before aimless tossing turning time; implementing a calming nighttime ritual (reading books in baths). All of these things will help zzz’s happen—and happen more deeply—so try some or all of them get to get your sleep back on track.
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