Wholistic rejuvenation of the mind body and soul starts and ends with restorative sleep. We were thrilled to have a collaboration from Julia Merrill of BefriendYourDoc.org to help us instill some great habits to ensure you get your 8 hours in.
(Most Esthetician friends of ours end their night by jade rolling before bed!)
Create Better Sleep Habits + Routines for Children + Adults
Adults and kids both yawn when they’re tired; most prefer sleeping at night than during the day. Everyone has his or her own sleep preferences, too, whether it’s cozy flannel sheets or swaddling, a favorite pillow or stuffed animal. Here are tips to foster healthy sleep habits for the whole family.
Differences between adult and kid sleep.
Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep nightly. Most adults also need less REM (rapid eye movement) cycle sleep, usually about 1 ½ hours per night. A single sleep cycle, for adults, typically lasts 90 minutes.
Kids need much more sleep. Babies log up to 18 hours a day. Toddlers average 12 hours, five-year-olds need 10 to 11 hours, and school-age kids thrive with 7 to 10 hours. A child’s REM cycle also lasts about an hour—these shorter cycles mean kids are more easily disturbed by teething, hunger, or noises because they enter lighter sleep stages every 60 minutes.
Help children log Zs.
In kids, sleep deprivation can lead to lifelong problems, from behavioral issues to struggles with obesity and learning disabilities. The right amount of quality sleep boosts kids’ energy levels and their immune systems.
Make sleep a priority for kids of all ages. Everything—school, sports, activities, homework—fits into a schedule. Add sleep, too. Determine how much sleep your kiddo needs, then work backward to set a non-negotiable bedtime. The sleep schedule might lead to conversations about scaling back other activities. Fun leisure activities like video games or movies might need to wait until weekends.
Plan and create bedtime routines—and start them earlier. It’s nearly impossible for anyone to jump from an activity into bed. Some children need 30 minutes to wind down with a warm bath, story, and snuggle. Other kids might need a full hour. Instilling a routine now will lead to a lifetime of healthy sleep habits.
Perfect for kids and adults!
Go dark before bedtime. The blue light that phone, tablet, and computer screens emit energizes the brain, making it that much harder to relax into sleep. Researchers have also discovered that children’s eyes let in more light, and that exposure to bright light before bedtime can really throw body clocks off-kilter. Step away from electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Set the expectation to keep all electronic devices out of your kids’ bedrooms.
Don’t vary bedtimes too much on holidays, weekends, and vacations. A late night now and then won’t throw schedules off too much, especially if your kiddo will sleep later if she’s up later. But when you vary sleep schedules too much, regardless of your kid’s adaptability, too wide a switch (8 p.m. weeknight bedtimes versus 11 p.m. weekend bedtimes) will probably throw off her body’s clock. You’ll benefit, too, from sticking to a regular sleep schedule, which keeps your body’s clock on an even kilter.
Helping adults get better quality sleep.
Here are a few other tips to consider, especially if you count yourself among the 50 to 70 million American adults who struggle to get restful sleep each night.
Find your zen before bed. You’ll benefit from a relaxing pre-bed ritual just like your kids. Whether it’s a warm shower or bath, a good book, light yoga, or meditation, find something to help you relax and release the day’s stresses.
Use a jade roller as part of your bedtime routine. When used on your face, they help with circulation, collagen production, reducing puffiness, and even calming rosacea. These rollers also improve lymphatic drainage, calm the mind, and improve headaches.
Create a cave for sleeping. Keep your room cool—between 60 and 67 degrees—noise-free, and dark. Use a white noise machine, blackout curtains, or ear plugs. Invest in a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillows. Treat yourself to soft sheets.
A sleep plan for all.
Bedtime routines really are important. Relaxing activities scheduled close to bedtime often prevent minor sleep and behavior problems. Consistent bedtimes keep everyone’s internal clocks running smoothly, and facilitate falling asleep and waking up more easily. These routines might feel arduous, but the payoff? Priceless.
Contribution by Julia Merrill
Thank you again Julia for your shared knowledge! -Leila
Photo Credit: pixabay.com