How to improve your family’s sleep this year
New Year’s Day has been and gone – but it’s never too late to make a change for the better! Are you still wondering how to improve your family’s sleep this Year? Maybe last year didn’t go quite as planned, and your little one STILL hasn’t grown out of the night wakes. When you’re this tired resolutions can fall by the wayside and the mere thought of changing anything can put you off starting…
If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions yet, don’t fret, now is the perfect time to start. Indeed, sleep is a great New Year’s resolution that the whole family can participate in and it may be easier than you think with just a little sleep TLC (tender loving care)!
If you have children you’ve been trying to get on a better sleep schedule, right now is the time to do it. And you should note that good sleep isn’t just for babies— many adults think if they could only get their baby sleeping well then their own sleep habits would be so much better. And yes, this can be the case for some people; however, many adults have bad habits they need to break too. So why not make a plan the whole family can follow?
Here are four TLC tips that will result in better sleep for your entire family if you can just commit to them:
1. HAVE THE SAME BEDTIME EVERY NIGHT
Firstly, I want you to pick an appropriate bedtime for each family member and stick to it for just the next six weeks.
Set an early bedtime for your children that ensures they get all the sleep they need. I recommend 7pm for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, but you can choose a time that works best for your family. The trick is not to waver from this set time, no matter what! That means weekends, holidays and even when friends and family visit.
Adults, this applies to you too! Ensure you get a minimum eight hours of time asleep (not just time in bed) every night, and stick to it. Even if your favourite show is on, you have work to do, or you’re dying for just a little bit more kid-free time, make sure you’re in bed with the lights out by your set bedtime. Use an app if you want to, or just a standard old fashioned alarm clock to prompt you, but do it.
Most adults are not getting near the average eight hours of sleep they need each night. And believe me, this can affect your mood and ability to focus even if you think it doesn’t. And trying to parent on little sleep? That’s a tough thing to do in anyone’s books!
2. CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE
A bedtime routine is pretty easy. Just decide what you want to do every night before you go to sleep. For your child that could be a bath, pajamas, teeth, books, cuddles and lights out. For you it could be bubble bath or shower, a cup of tea, reading a chapter, then lights out. It doesn’t really matter WHAT you do, it’s the fact that you do it in the same order, at the same time, every night (EVERY NIGHT).
3. GET UP AT THE SAME TIME EACH MORNING
Again, make this sleep TLC commitment for the next 6 weeks, and get up at the same time every morning. Yes, that means on weekends too. Sorry.
If your child is going to sleep at the same time every night and getting enough sleep, chances are you will not need to wake them up in the morning. They’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed pretty early in the day. However, if you’ve been taking turns with your partner to get a sleep in, it’s time to stop (especially if you’re having trouble sleeping at night).
The truth is there’s no reason why you should be sleeping in on the weekends if you’re getting enough rest during the week. You simply won’t need the extra sleep. Yes, it may take you a bit of time to catch up on all the sleep you’ve been missing out on (schedule in more sleep initially), but just think of all those extra projects you’ll get done once you’ve caught up!
4. NO ELECTRONICS AN HOUR BEFORE BED
Chances are you’ve heard this before, but you’ve chosen to ignore it. However, if you want to focus on sleep TLC, you need to take heed. This applies to adults and children alike.
The light from electronics will disrupt your brain’s melatonin levels, and this can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. So turn off all phones, tablets, computers and TVs an hour before you plan to go to sleep (and yes, I said plan – see tip 1 again).
If you give your sleep some TLC and commit to these four simple sleep resolutions, you will see a big difference in how well you and your children sleep. So much so, I’m willing to bet you’ll want to stick to these sleep TLC resolutions long after the six weeks is up.
Happy New Year and sweet dreams!
P.S. If you need to get your child sleeping through the night before you even have the chance of getting your eight hours, let’s talk! Book a free 15 minute phone call to see how I can help. My customised sleep packages for children (aged over 4 months) are designed to get your child sleeping 11+ hours a night. What are you waiting for? Book now. Oh, and as of December 2018 – I’m taking adult clients too! Yes, that means sleep solutions for the WHOLE family. So if you’ve got your kids onto a good sleep thing, but you’re still struggling. Book that call!