As parents, it’s essential that you create a healthy night time routine for yourself and your children, so you all get the rest necessary to wake up with the energy and vigor to take on a new day. Parents need to set ground rules for kids, so they can learn the habits that they can take into adulthood. We can help by telling you about the importance of unwinding at night and the tactics you can try to ensure your family’s health during the evening hours.
Get Better Sleep
The ultimate result of a healthy nighttime routine is to ensure that everyone in the family gets seven to nine hours of quality rest. Good sleep is essential for improved brain performance and overall physical health. When we fail to get the rest we need, we don’t allow our bodies to recover from the work of the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may develop serious ailments, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
There are certain tactics you and your kids can try to get the sleep you need. One of them is limiting screen time in the hours leading up to bedtime and while lying in bed. An obsession with screens and gaming at night time is especially troublesome for teenagers. Watching and playing video games releases the stress hormone cortisol, which puts the brain in a heightened sense of alertness, and it can be difficult to fall asleep.
On top of that, cell phone screens also emit blue light, which can trick our brains into thinking it’s daytime, and that can mess up our circadian rhythm. If your family is guilty of scrolling through social media in bed, it is wise to change that behavior. Consider reading a book instead, as the concentration necessary to read the words can help you drift to sleep.
Importance of Healthy Eating
Another major contributor to good sleep is a healthy diet. Parents need to lead by example by teaching their children proper routines and explaining what they should and shouldn’t eat in the evening hours. There are certain types of foods that are more likely to keep you awake. Spicy food is a major culprit because eating it raises your body temperature, and your body temp needs to run lower to facilitate sleep.
Also, it’s important for everyone in the family to avoid alcohol and caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime. Alcohol is bad because it can interrupt your natural sleep cycle later at night. Coffee should be avoided because of the caffeine it includes.
For your best chance of quality sleep, eat a sensible dinner that is not too filling or it can create discomfort. Consider vegan foods like kale, spinach, and collard greens. These are rich in magnesium, which may help you fall asleep. Tart cherries can also do wonders because their juice is a natural source of melatonin, which helps to regulate your sleep cycle.
Help your kids eat well by making it a routine to establish family dinners at the same time every night. By getting together at the dinner table, you can ensure that your kids eat right. Plus, it is a great time to bond and learn about the day’s events at school and work.
Calming Down Before Bed
The best way to get proper rest night after night is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This straightens out your circadian rhythm, so your body knows that it is time to rest. Also, create a designated pre-sleep routine. For instance, your routine might be to go into the bathroom to floss, brush your teeth, and potentially take a shower before bed. If you do this routine every night, you have a better chance of laying your head on your pillow at the desired time.
Some people like to meditate or practice yoga before they go to sleep. By stretching and holding yoga poses, you can relax your mind and body and slow your heartbeat. Keep in mind that you should keep these exercises light. There is a misconception that engaging in vigorous exercise will make them tired, but the fact is that your body releases adrenaline when you run or lift weights, and it may make it harder for you to fall asleep.
If you lay in bed, but you still can’t drift to sleep, consider making modifications to your room. Add black-out curtains to provide complete darkness and install a sound machine to really put you in the mood to rest.
While it may seem impossible to wind down at night and drift to sleep, you can relax by creating a healthy routine. Consider these tips and add your own relaxing habits so you can be ready to take on the next big day.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.