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5 Ways for Families to Improve Their Sleep Quality and Get More RestPosted April 23, 2019 by Sue Prichard
Getting a good night of sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health. Your sleep quality affects your physical and mental wellbeing, so it’s not something you should take lightly. Fortunately, there are many ways you and your family can improve your sleep patterns, fall asleep faster, and achieve a deeper sleep. Here are five tips for improving your sleep quality:
1. Relax and avoid screens before bedtime
Many families rush from activity to activity all day, but it’s essential that you take some time to unwind before you go to sleep. Taking a warm shower or bath, reading a chapter of a book, or listening to calming music can help your brain and body relax before bedtime. This will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the night.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your sleep quality is avoid using your phone before bed. A Harvard study found that people who look at screens right before going to bed took longer to fall asleep than people who read books before bedtime. The blue light from phones can also affect your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which are both essential for regulating your sleep cycle. Looking at your phone or other screens before bed can even decrease your REM sleep, an essential part of your sleep cycle that is closely linked to your brain’s functioning.
2. Follow a schedule
Keeping a regular sleep schedule is one of the best ways to improve your sleep quality. Your body has an internal clock, and it prefers following a routine. If you and your family have trouble falling asleep or getting deep sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. Your kids may protest waking up early on the weekends, but once your internal clock adjusts to the schedule, you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling refreshed.
3. Set up a healthy sleeping environment
Your bedroom can have a major impact on the quality of your sleep, and making some changes to your sleeping environment can be a great way to improve your rest. Studies have found that most people sleep best when the temperature is 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, so you may want to adjust the thermostat before bedtime.
Consider purchasing blackout curtains for the bedroom windows in your house to keep out any light from outside. Blackout curtains can also block out some of the noise from the street. If noise is a serious problem affecting your sleep quality, you can turn on a fan or use earplugs to cover up the sound. You could also purchase a white noise machine to drown out noise and create a more relaxing atmosphere.
4. Upgrade your mattresses
Mattresses usually have a lifespan of seven to 10 years. If you or a family member has been sleeping on a mattress for longer than a decade, it’s time for an upgrade. You may not notice how worn out or uncomfortable your current mattress is until you get a new one, but it’s very likely that sleeping on an old mattress prevents you from getting deep, restful sleep.
There are a variety of factors you should consider when choosing a new mattress. The ideal mattress for you depends on your sleeping position, your sleeping style, and your size. If you have a smaller body frame and sleep on your back, you will probably prefer a softer mattress, but a larger person may want a firmer and more supportive mattress. The climate in your area makes a difference, too. For example, if you’re searching for a mattress in Sydney or another warm Australian city, you’ll want a mattress that has good circulation and temperature regulation.
5. Be conscious of your diet
What and when you eat during the day can affect how well you sleep at night. Following a healthy, balanced diet will help you and your family be more active throughout the day, which will lead to better sleep at night. You should pay attention to when you eat dinner, too. Typically, it’s best to eat your last meal two to three hours before bedtime. Going to sleep right after eating can cause indigestion or stomach pain, but you also should not go to bed hungry.
Be sure that you and your family members avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon. Your last caffeinated drink should be at least four hours before your bedtime, but most people find that it’s helpful to stop drinking caffeine much earlier in the day.
Everyone’s bodies and lifestyles are different, so what works well for your partner or child may not work as well for you. It can take some time and effort to find the best sleeping environment and sleeping schedule, but you shouldn’t give up. Once you discover which tips and tricks help you get better sleep, you’ll notice a big difference in how you feel.