Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 04:18 pm
Parents, it’s time to start prioritizing sleep! It’s our job to set an example, and show our kids that, for so many reasons, a well-rested family is a happier family.
Let’s face it–parenting can be tough. Whether you have one child or five, you undoubtedly have a hectic schedule that that keeps you busy every single day.
Between work, school, keeping a home, and running kids to extracurricular activities, it can be overwhelming–but somehow we mostly keep it together.
Unfortunately, sleep often ends up dropping further and further down on the list of priorities when there’s so much to do. There’s no question it’s a challenge to balance everything. And, a good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible dream.
However, prioritizing sleep isn’t just a nice idea. It’s absolutely essential for your well-being, and for the health and happiness of your family.
So, what can you do to make sleep a top priority in your household no matter how busy you are? There are some easy strategies you can implement right now that will make a world of difference.
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Before we jump in, how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? It’s so easy to put sleep (and all kinds of self-care) on the back burner because you don’t fully realize the impact not getting enough rest has on you or your family.
You might feel tired during the day but assume it’s “normal” or that an extra cup of coffee or a soda will fix things. But, there are far more serious risks that come with not getting enough sleep.
Some of the physical signs you’re not getting the sleep you need include:
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Sore jaw
- Mood swings
Unfortunately, if you go for too long without getting enough sleep, you could be putting your physical and mental health at risk.
Some of the long-term repercussions of not getting adequate sleep include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
If you’re not already, it’s time to start prioritizing sleep and creating healthier routines for your family.
Improving Sleep Routines
Speaking of routines, moving sleep up on your list of priorities throughout the day will make it easier to incorporate these good habits into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.
That’s right–bedtime routines aren’t just important for babies and toddlers. They can be helpful for everyone, allowing you to get into a relaxed state of mind.
Obviously, everyone’s bedtime routine will be a bit different. For a young child, it might include taking a bath, reading a book, and talking for a few minutes in bed before going to sleep. For a teenager, it could be something as simple as logging off all electronics an hour before bed and then doing something relaxing.
If you do have a teen, you might think it’s okay for them to nap during the day. But, they’re probably not getting the same quality sleep with a nap, and if you let them sleep all day, it’s going to throw off their natural circadian rhythm, making it difficult for them to get good sleep at night.
As a parent, prioritizing sleep is just as important for you! Adults should develop healthy sleep habits as part of a daily self-care routine.
Try to go to bed around the same time each night. Turn off electronics for at least an hour before bed, do something mindful like meditation or journaling, and create a peaceful sleeping environment so you have an easier time falling asleep quickly.
Tips for a Restful Night’s Sleep
If your family life is busy, you might think it’s impossible to keep a healthy sleep schedule, but remember, it’s okay to give yourself a little flexibility.
Kids are resilient, and it’s alright to adjust their schedules if you need to. Don’t feel you have to force set bed times every day under every circumstance, or you’re likely to add even more stress.
Instead, ensure a better night’s sleep with a few helpful strategies, like keeping bedrooms free of electronic devices, making sure your kids get outside activity every day, and setting regular mealtimes.
Also, do what you can to help everyone keep their energy up throughout the day. This will help your kids (and teens) avoid naps, so they’ll be tired and ready to sleep at night.
Some of the best ways for the whole family to stay energized throughout the day include:
- Eating high-energy foods like vegetables and protein
- Reducing stress
- Staying hydrated
- Taking supplements, if needed
- Spending time outdoors
To sum it up–sleep should never take a back seat when it comes to your family’s schedule.
Every parent wants their children to be happy and healthy, and no matter how busy you are, ensuring everyone is getting enough sleep will make it easier for you to achieve that goal.
Plus, by prioritizing sleep and instilling healthy habits now, you’ll show your children how important self-care is. And, with any luck, they’ll carry those healthy habits into adulthood.
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