When you or your kids are having trouble sleeping, it can make
mornings rough. A few nights of bad sleep are enough to impact your mood
and health. As such, it’s important to take steps to make the most of your
family’s sleep routines. If you need help falling asleep, try some of these
simple tricks to wake up feeling better.

Rework Your Bedtime Routines

The first thing you need to check when your family is having issues
sleeping are your routines before you get under the covers. Spending hours
watching television or surfing social media may seem like a good way to
unwind, but studies show that extended exposure to screens can actually impair
your ability
to get restful sleep. To give your eyes and brain a break, switch off those
electronics a few hours before you need to be asleep. Opt for more relaxing
activities for your family, like reading a book, writing in a journal, or
doing some soothing yoga instead.

Think About Getting a New Bed

Did you know that you need to replace your bed
<https://www.healthline.com/health/when-to-change-mattress> every
seven to 10 years? That’s the general rule of thumb for most sleep experts,
but there are other ways to tell if you need a new mattress. For example,
if you wake up repeatedly throughout the night, if you have random body
pains in the morning, or if things just don’t feel right, you may want to
invest in another one. But don’t think you have to go to a store to find
the best mattress to fit your needs and sleep style (be it a foam
<https://www.tuck.com/memory-foam-mattress-reviews/>, latex,
innerspring, or a hybrid version). Many shoppers choose to buy their new
bed online, and there are tons of options available. If you do buy online,
make sure you look for reviews and fully understand terms around trial
periods, warranties and returns.

Turn Your Room into a Sleep Cave

We’ve come a long way since our caveman days, but our sleep habits
really have not. The conditions you need
for an optimal night of sleep are very similar to the ones you would find
in a cave. You need darkness to allow your eyes to relax, quiet to soothe
your mind and cooler temperatures to help your body prepare for sleep. Make
sure all these elements are part of your bedroom by picking up blackout
<https://ultimatepaleoguide.com/reviews/best-blackout-curtains/> and
sleep masks to keep light from keeping you awake. Sound machines and fans
can be useful for covering up outside noises, but be careful when using
these tools in rooms where small children sleep.

Be Careful What You Eat at Night

If you love having late-night meals and snacks, you could be making
yourself hate mornings. Your diet can be tied to your sleep hygiene in
several key ways. First off, the timing of meals and drinks is very
important. To avoid an upset stomach, you should aim to cut off any heavy
meals or snacks at least two to three hours before you get in bed. Second,
foods that contain caffeine should be limited to morning hours only.
Finally, if you do get the munchies before bedtime, try to choose foods and
beverages that will actually help you relax and fall asleep faster
Foods that are filling, without a lot of fat or sugar, are generally okay
in small portions before bedtime.

Seek Out Professional Help

When a change in habits is doing nothing to change your sleep, it may
be time to talk to your healthcare provider. There are many underlying
that can impact the sleep of kids and adults. From chronic pain to asthma,
your provider can look for signs of these issues and recommend medications
and practices to resolve them. If a sleep disorder is suspected, he/she may
even order a sleep study for you or your kids. Know what to expect
of any tests so you can prepare yourself or your kids when needed.

Sleep is absolutely essential for children and adults. You need a
good night’s rest, every night, to wake up refreshed, feel your best, and
stay ready to take on your day. So, take some steps to boost your sleep
hygiene and help your family get the best sleep of their lives starting

About the author: Mr. Lewis has firsthand experience as a senior caregiver, in addition
to a background in personal training. He’s passionate about helping seniors
stay healthy and injury-free.   jason_lewis@strongwell.org

Photo Credit: Unsplash <https://unsplash.com/photos/ZOFyElHZIlM>