5 Ways to Make Healthy Sleep a Family Habit

The secret to family bliss? Make sure everyone gets enough sleep.

Okay, that may be a slight oversimplification, but it’s not that far of a stretch when you consider the psychological side of getting proper sleep. Better rested people are physically and mentally healthier, less likely to get into arguments, and overall less stressed out.

So here are five ways to make quality sleep a part of your family routine.

Plan a bedtime routine and stick to it

For kids and adults alike, the best path to rest effectively is to have a regular schedule. If you have kids, try to make sure that they’re in bed around the same time every night and keep a steady routine of bedtime activities. For instance, reading to your kids for just ten minutes in the evening will eventually help signal to their brains that it’s time to wind down. You’ll feel the benefits, and you’ll be setting your kids up for healthy sleep throughout their lives. If possible, do something similar for yourself.

Get active as often as you can

Being physically active during the day–especially outdoors–will help you and your kids fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Bonus: Group outings are a fantastic way to bond with the family and effectively keep smartphones away.

Unplug as a group a few hours before bedtime

Exposure to electronic light in the evening hours makes it harder to fall asleep. It may not always be realistic to expect the entire family to unplug a few hours before bedtime, but try making it a once-a-week routine as a starter. Use the time to read or sit around and talk to each other (basically, all the things that families used to do before Apple and Android came into the picture). If you have young kids, use your parental influence while you can and keep them away from screens before bed.

Create a conducive environment to relax

In the evening hours, dim or even turn off the TV screen and keep the lights soft. You can also consider using essential oils in a diffuser or lighting up scented candles to add to the mood.

Discuss the importance of sleep

Rather than just telling your kids they should go to bed, explain why. Kids and adults alike tend to be more likely to follow the rules when they understand the purpose. Ask them to think about their feelings after a good night’s sleep versus a bad one. And explain why it’s so important to get enough rest.

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