Guest Blog by Julia Merrill – firstname.lastname@example.org – Befriendyourdoc.org
Sleep is crucial for your body’s recovery after a long day. Still, many people struggle with getting enough uninterrupted hours each night. The good news is that kids and adults alike can use these seven strategies for sleeping better, sooner.
Repaint the Bedroom Walls
If you or your children have trouble sleeping, your wall color could be to blame. Think about a paint job to help you sleep. Light blue and soft pink are ideal for bedrooms because they promote relaxation. You can paint all the walls, choose an accent wall, or paint the trim to create a more peaceful environment.
Try Out Soothing Noises
Particularly for light sleepers, things that go bump in the night can disturb your beauty rest. The good news is that white noise can help block out those random annoyances with a consistent sound. Studies suggest that white noise is excellent for soothing fussy babies, but it can help adults with sensitive ears, too.
Shut Off Your Devices
Parents worry a lot about young kids’ exposure to technology. But the hazards associated with tech also extend to grownups who scroll through social media before bed.
Everyone in the family should skip screens at bedtime, because the artificial light tricks your brain into forgetting it’s sleepy. Mainly, the light stimulates your body’s natural wakeful feelings that typically happen with sunlight, interfering with your biological rhythms. Aim for shutting off your devices an hour before you go to bed.
Stick to a Routine
Bedtime routines are for babies, right? Not so. It’s healthy for any age to stick with a regular routine, including consistent wakeup times. Verywell Health highlights that the benefits of fixed wake times include both drifting off and waking up more easily, being more alert, feeling less irritable, and having a stronger immune system.
Stretch it Out
As part of your bedtime routine, consider adding a few stretches. Stretching the muscles before you crawl into bed can help you relax and sleep better. This can be combined with other relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing, if you’d prefer.
Real Simple even compares stretching to meditation. And it’s true that stretching your body can also enhance mindfulness, which is ideal for centering your mind on sleep instead of stressors.
Exercise During the Day, Too
You know that your kids sleep better after a full day of exciting activities—and the same applies to adults. Everyone sleeps better when their bodies are truly tired, and that means healthy physical activity.
You shouldn’t schedule moderate exercise right before bed, however, since that might stimulate your brain even more. Alaska Sleep Clinic suggests finishing high-intensity cardio exercise at least two hours before bed, so you have time to unwind.
Adjust Your Sleep Surface
An old, uncomfortable, and lumpy mattress isn’t conducive to good sleep. Both adults and kids need support and comfort. If your bed is already old, think about investing in a new one—ten years is the average lifespan for a mattress, Consumer Reports notes.
Whichever mattress you buy should have the right level of firmness to support your spine. Keeping your spine in alignment while you sleep can effectively recuperate your back from the day’s activities. Of course, sleep is when the most recovery happens anyway, but enhancing your spine’s ability to heal itself is another reason to concentrate on a good mattress and positioning habits.
Along with a new bed, support pillows can help relieve stress points on your body. Depending on your favorite sleep position, putting a pillow between your legs or under your stomach can help keep your body properly aligned, even while you’re snoozing.
Quality rest can make the difference between a productive day and one that falls flat. Fortunately, getting better sleep doesn’t have to be complicated. With just a few tweaks to your family’s bedrooms and bedtime routines, everyone can start (and end) their day on a healthier note.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash