After having babies of my own, I quickly learned that “sleep like a baby” really does not mean what people think it means! Sure, there were times when my babies slept through noise and chaos, but babies, my babies, at least, did not sleep how I want to sleep! I definitely don’t want to sleep like a baby! Now, I do wish I could sleep like my kids do. They have slept through the night consistently since they were 4ish (yeah, sad, I know!) and they continue to be able to sleep through loud sounds, different temperatures, and sometimes, even sicknesses. I’m passionate about sleep, and I’m glad I was able to write this sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Better Sleep Council.
May is Better Sleep Month and I think that is an excellent place to start! May is SO busy for our family. Soccer, school parties, field trips, field days, and more, all piled on top of busy work schedules and those last minute things to do before summer starts. We need good sleep! Everyone in the family needs their sleep. Somehow it is easy for the kids to sleep with all of this going on, but my mind races with all the things I have to accomplish. Do you ever feel that way?
I took a step back a few days ago, just to think about why my kids have become fairly good sleepers. Our middle son has always slept well, but the other two, not so much. It has taken lots of routine, forethought, and practice to improve their sleeping habits. That is what I am trying to do in my own life, because I need good sleep, too! I thought about what is working for them and what I can implement in my own sleeping routine to help me catch some more Z’s every night!
How Do You Sleep Like a Kid? 10 Tips for Adults to Get Better Sleep!
Any parent knows, preparation for bedtime begins long before bedtime. Some days it feels like I have to create “the perfect storm” to make bedtime pleasant. After a few days though, it gets easier, and it should get easier for adults to follow a sleep routine, too!
When my sons were babies, I relished in nap time, because that meant that I got to rest. It really did help me get through the day when I had been up for what seemed like all night. I stopped being able to sleep longer than 30 minutes, which I realized was really a blessing. If you are sleeping hours during the day, it becomes harder to sleep at night. Those little catnaps can be lifesavers, though, so if you are sleepy after lunch and are able to rest for a few minutes, definitely do it! If you feel like your napping is causing your nighttime sleep to struggle, however, try mediation or a short power nap. A few minutes of rest can give a boost of energy!
Limit Caffeine After Noon
Do you know anyone who can drink a cup of coffee right before bed? That has NEVER been me and lately I have found out that if I have more than one cup during the day, my sleep is SHOT for that night. I know it is so temping to reach for the coffee maker, but you may find that if you cut out some caffeine, you will sleep better at night. With the boys, I know never ever to give them caffeine after noon, and that is the same for me. One cup when I first wake up is all my body can tolerate. If your body can sleep with caffeine rushing through your veins, great! But if not, definitely start by cutting some cups out of your day and try replacing it with good old fashioned water.
Eat a Filling Dinner and Limit Snacks to 2-3 Hours Before Bed
It is hard to sleep when your tummy is growling. If you are eating snacks (or dinner!) right before bed, try bumping that up a few hours so your body can work on sleeping and not digesting food when it is bedtime!
Get Your Exercise…But do it Earlier in the Day
My boys are full of boundless energy. They can run a mile on the track during PE, then go to recess, then come home and play basketball and THEN have a soccer game. I would be passed out after one of those activities, but they just keep going and going. What I have noticed, however, is that when our 10-year-old has a late-night soccer game, winding down is really hard. It seems like that late-night activity just gets his blood pumping faster and he definitely needs a little bit longer to calm down and get to sleep. Those are the nights when a warm bath and a few extra minutes are essential for good sleep.
We try to get our exercise in, but right before bed is never a good idea because, like our son, we need time to wind down and get our bodies ready for sleep!
Take A Warm Bath
Showering or bathing is a necessity for me to get a good night’s sleep. I do not like morning showers because that means I have to go to bed dirty. But there is something about a nice, warm bath with Epsom salts that makes sleepy time so much better. Add a few drops of a soothing scent to your bath or use a relaxing bath bomb to make it a super pampering experience.
Sleep On Clean Sheets and a Comfy Mattress
I mentioned that I have to be clean before bed, but having clean sheets is necessary, too. I just feel like I sleep better without dirt in my sheets, don’t we all? Does that mean that I wash our sheets every day? Um…no…who has time for that?! But, if my kids ever come in too late to have a bath, I am washing their sheets the next day so they will have clean sheets instead of sweaty, dirty sheets to sleep on the next night. This also really helps with allergies, too. If there is pollen in my hair or pillowcase and I am sleeping on it all night, guaranteed I will wake up sneezing and not rest well during the night!
Also, if you have been sleeping on the same mattress since college, it is time to get a new one. We all have different preferences, so check around to see what you like best and go from there. Comfort really is top priority when we are talking about sleep.
Use White Noise
I always wonder how travelers sleep in hotels all of the time without white noise. Some people are blessed to be sound sleepers, but not my husband and me! We need a fan, an air purifier, or a sound machine to ensure that the outside noises are quieted during the night.
Put Your Worries Aside
When my kids are starting something new, like school or a new sport, they do not sleep well. They are worried about the upcoming events and it is understandable. I always have trouble sleeping when I have something big coming up. As a family, we have learned that we need to address the issues that are causing us to worry, write them down, pray about them, and then toss them aside so we can get a good night’s rest. The boys’ had a “worry box” when they were younger and it really helped to talk about what they were worrying about and physically write it down and “toss it.” This could look any way you prefer, whether it is meditating, journaling, praying, therapy, or whatever…just as long as your worries let you sleep.
Read (From an Actual Book!) Before Bed
The boys always look forward to reading before bed. With night activities not allowing us ample time before bed, we have found that books with short chapters are best. The boys know that they need to be ready for bed by a certain time and we read before bed. It is a simple routine that works. Cozying up with your own, real book before you close your eyes can help you unwind. (I would opt out of murder mysteries, but that is totally up to you!)
Silence Your Phone
I am always amazed at how many people do not silence their phone at night. This is NOT the 1990s and people really do not have any respect for night time calls and texts because of the silencing option. You can silence individual group texts, apps, or set your phone to only alert you when certain people call.
My kids do not have their own phones yet, but it is a hard rule that they must not have any electronics in their room during the night and I really think this is a great idea for everyone. Unless your job requires you to be “on call,” try moving your phone or electronic devices out of your room. This is a piece of advice I am still working on!
The Better Sleep Council’s “Sleep Like a Kid” campaign for Better Sleep Month 2019 is helping parents learn the importance of good sleep for the entire family! The Better Sleep Council was established in 1978 and is devoted to educating the public about the important relationship between sleep, good health, and the quality of life. Visit the Better Sleep Council website for content about sleep, mattress education, sleep tips, research and more!
Have you noticed your sleep improving by following the above tips?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Better Sleep Council.