Ways to Ensure a Sleep-Healthy Family continued…

As a continued piece from the previous article, these are more practices that your family can adopt.

  1. Encourage every family member to practice good sleep hygiene. Research has demonstrated that good sleep hygiene practices are associated with better sleep in all age ranges.
  2. Ensure all family members have an established, consistent, and reproducible bedtime routine to unwind and help transition the mind and body from wake to sleep. Bedtime routines should not be rushed or stressful—expect 30–60 minutes.
  3. Institute family “sleep rules.” Consistent bedtimes, media curfews, before-bed activities, and regular sleep–wake routines are worthwhile. Research has demonstrated that in families where sleep rules are routinely enforced, children sleep longer and better than children without them.
  4. Make before bedtime a relaxing, enjoyable, and bonding time for everyone in the family. Engage in calm, relaxing time without electronics before bed. Consider family activities such as storytelling, coloring, jigsaw puzzles, journaling, yoga, and reading. See more suggestions here.
  5. Make reading a part of everyone’s bedtime routine.Research has demonstrated that children who read or were read to as part of the bedtime routine experienced more sleep at night, while children with televisions and electronic devices in their bedrooms sleep less and experience lower sleep quality.
  6. Optimize each family member’s sleep environment for a good night’s sleep. Too much light and noise disrupt sleep. Keep bedrooms neat and orderly. Keep a comfortably cool temperature for sleep. An investment in comfortable mattresses, pillows, and bedding is an investment in sleep quality. Mattress preferences may change with age, weight change, bed partner issues, pregnancy, or medical conditions.  Investigate different mattress and bedding options or separate sleeping arrangements if you and your bed partner are not compatible sleepers. Many mattress options are available for bed partners with differing temperature and comfort preferences, including split queen and king beds, dual control beds, adjustable bases, and a variety of mattress materials. Sleeping in separate beds is also an option and does not have to reflect discord in a relationship.

 

Your family will benefit from the prioritization of sleep, sleep education, good sleep hygiene, and sufficient sleep.

Sleep is not just an individual issue—it’s a two-way street: individual sleep health contributes to family sleep health, while family sleep health supports individual sleep health.

Considering every aspect of our lives that is impacted by sleep—cognitive development, mood, emotions, job satisfaction, stress levels, learning, impulse control, reasoning, communication, health outcomes, judgment, insight, decision making, and relationships—it’s easy to appreciate sleep’s ability to improve the family dynamic, strengthen family bonds, and foster communication while ensuring optimal health, functioning, well-being, relationships, and quality of life.

As an individual and as a family member, it is critical to protect, advocate, and prioritize sleep. Sleep affects each family member’s ability to engage fully in life and optimally function in a healthy, safe, effective, and productive manner. Isn’t it time you make sufficient sleep a family value?

 

Blogger: Terry Cralle @PowerOfSleep

Sleep Health and Wellness Professional / BSC Spokesperson Terry Cralle, RN, MS

Sleep Health and Wellness Professional / BSC Spokesperson
Terry Cralle, RN, MS

Speak Your Mind

*