When it comes to modern parenting there are many challenges, one of those is how to sleep well. Sleep in itself is not just an issue for you either, it’s something that should be addressed family-wide. After all, if one member of the family isn’t getting enough sleep, then it’s going to affect the status quo one way or another.
The best thing you can do is to first address your sleep patterns and routines; parents directly influence their children’s routines so this is super important. The goals and approaches you should set for yourself and your family won’t all be the same, and they will change depending on the person’s age, needs and circumstances.
Without a proper routine, it’s impossible to sleep well. If the times you head off to the land of nod are sporadic and not properly structured, your quality of sleep will suffer. In the modern age, people of all ages are getting progressively busier, between work, school and social obligations, it can be difficult to stick to a proper routine when it comes to that all-important sleep. Plus, the introduction of technology has proven to add its challenges in.
Typically, with adults and older children, night-time activities can become a real hindrance when it comes to settling down for your much-needed sleep. Nowadays, more and more activities on digital devices are getting in the way. Whether it’s your favourite show on the TV, video games on the XBOX, PlayStation or tablet or just chatting with your friends on your phone; there are many distractions.
When it comes to your younger children, they may not happily sleep in their own bed yet, if this is the case then this can have a direct influence on your sleep. In these instances, establishing a solid sleep routine with ideal behaviours are critical. Introducing falling asleep on their own, in their own bed, at a set bedtime is your ultimate goal.
As parents, if you make your quality of sleep a priority, this will massively resonate with your children from a young age into later life. Plus, because you’re getting such a good night’s sleep you’ll find that you’re a lot more patient and have a lot more energy to deal with all of the other demands of life and parenting.
Steps For A Perfect Sleep
But, that’s easier said than done, right? There are a few steps that you can take to reaching this ideal, however. Firstly, keep a regular sleep schedule, where your bedtime and wake up time are the same… even on weekends.
Exercise can also be a big factor in getting a high-quality night’s sleep. Just, don’t work out too close to bedtime. Before you go to bed you should be implementing another consistent routine that’s in place to relax. This means no screens and limits the amount you’re exposed to artificial light.
A final step you can take to give yourself the best chance of a great night’s sleep lies within your bedroom. Keep it clean, cool and make sure you can make it as dark as you require and ideally, keep digital devices and electronics to a minimal. But, potentially the most important aspect is your bed and mattress. If you’re not comfortable then your chances of feeling well-rested in the morning are minimal if not impossible.
Although frames are a bit easier to work with, the mattress you’re sleeping on is make or break. Luckily there are plenty of sites online that will help you identify what your most comfortable mattress will be.
But, what about your children? How can you ensure that they’re getting the best night’s sleep too, in turn, allow you to get yours? Well, there are multiple ways for all ages of children.
How To Ensure Your Children Get The Best Night’s Sleep
For your baby, their unpredictable sleep patterns can have a detrimental effect on your sleep. You may or may not cope well with a highly interrupted night’s sleep. Two methods are typically brought to the table when discussing how to sleep train your baby; graduated extinction and bedtime fading.
Many don’t appreciate and aren’t comfortable with the idea of letting their children cry without comforting them and helping them get back to sleep. If this sounds like you then bedtime fading might be the way forward, choosing to delay bedtime by 15-minutes each day. But, if you think you can handle it, many believe that graduated extinction helps your child develop vital skills in independently comforting themselves.
With older children, having strict, consistent bedtime rules are key. Ensure they turn off their devices, and settle on a bedtime routine that will allow them to follow the same behaviour pattern each night. First a period of screen-free relaxation with plenty of time to fall asleep naturally and get a solid amount of high-quality sleep. This will become even more necessary when your child hits adolescence, a time where the body clock is said to shift towards sleeping in later and staying up later.
Screen time may become a significant point of conflict with your older children, but the key is to be realistic and monitor their behaviour carefully; if they’re not getting enough sleep or don’t have enough time for other tasks reduce their screen time allowance. Or, steer a portion of the time into a positive experience; watching a movie as a family for instance.
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