Get the Household to Bed on Time, Every Night
Sleep. Everybody needs it, but many don’t get nearly enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some one-third of adult Americans sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night. The situation is even worse for teens, with one study saying that among those aged 13 to 19, a whopping 85 percent need to get more shut-eye during the weeknights.
This is a serious health problem as a lack of sleep can lead to a number of health conditions such as weakened immunity, high blood pressure and weight gain. One of the more immediate effects is a chronic lack of energy, which is the last thing children need with all the pressure they are under at school. Their grades are likely suffering as a result of this lack of slumber.
However, here are a few tips that’ll help everyone in the household get a good night’s rest and wake up with boundless energy.
Warm Showers in the Evening
You don’t want to do this too close to bedtime, otherwise it will have the opposite effect, one sleep specialist tells Time magazine. Basically, you want to warm your body up and give it enough time to cool down, which sends your body the signal that it’s time to hit the hay. An hour and a half should be just about right. This technique has the added advantage of clearing your skin, helping avoid breakouts and preventing wrinkles.
Something to Snack On
Just after your evening shower or bath is the perfect time for a nosh. For one thing, you don’t want to go to bed on an empty stomach or you’ll wake up and raid the fridge at 3 a.m. To doze off quickly, choose foods that are high in the amino acid tryptophan, says a nutritionist writing for BBC Good Food. These include chicken, turkey, dairy products and nuts, and they’ll have the greatest effect if accompanied with a starch such as rice, pasta or potatoes.
White Noise Machines
According to health website Prevention, white noise machines reduce the difference between background sounds and the crashes, bangs and booms that jar you awake at night. Most of the machines on the market don’t actually make white noise but “pink noise” such as a gentle rainfall or waves lapping against the shore. Whatever the color, they may not help you fall asleep, but will certainly keep you sleeping.
Scents Make Sense
If you get comfy in the bed and have eliminated distractions but sleep remains elusive, consider giving your olfactory sense a nighttime treat. An oil diffuser and small arsenal of organic essential oils is a must. ToiletTree Products claims that lavender, valerian, and ylang ylang are equally effective at promoting sound sleep.
A Weekend Wake-Up
It feels wonderful to lie in bed on a Saturday and catch up those z’s that you missed during the week, but don’t give into temptation as it wreaks havoc on your circadian rhythms. You’ll get to sleep later that evening, then wake up later on Sunday, then get to sleep later … you can see where this is going. It can take up to three days to get back in sync, which means nobody’s in form again until Wednesday.
A Ban on Screens
You’ll have to lay down the law, but you’ve got science on your side. Mobile phones, computers and tablets emit blue light, which suppresses the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin and keeps you from falling asleep, and it’s a vicious circle. Unable to doze off, many people reach for that same mobile phone that’s causing all the problems to check out their favorite websites, pushing sweet dreams away again. Stop that. Now.
A Healthy Day Time Regimen
Getting a good night’s sleep is always easier for children when they get enough exercise, eat healthy and stay hydrated. Get kids engaged in physical activities along with proper meals including protein, whole grains and five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to keep their energy levels up. The kids will need to drink between 1 liter and 2 liters of water daily depending on their age.
Follow these procedures and the whole family should have no trouble getting their 40 winks. And whatever resistance you face at first will be long gone when everyone discovers the newfound stores of energy they have when waking up in the morning.