How can we ensure a good night’s Sleep?
We are almost at the end of our journey to a Healthy Sleep. What have we learnt so far? – The different components of our sleep cycle. – Bodily functions that sleep supports. – Consequences of sleep deprivation, and their effects on different age groups. – How much sleep we need, and what happens when we get it. – Factors that disrupt our sleep.
Welcome to the final step in your journey to a healthy sleep routine… Here are some positive ways to ensure a good night’s sleep!
For Babies and Children
The sleep cycles of our children are just as important as ours. Here are some ways to establish a good sleep routine for kids and infants:
Introduce and enforce specific times for waking up and going to sleep. Keep it consistent!
Put babies down to sleep when they start to show signs of tiredness. Do not allow them to fall asleep in your arms; this can prevent them from falling asleep on their own.
Make sure their sleeping environment has appropriate light and temperature levels. There should be no televisions, devices, or distracting objects in the room.
Remove distractions, especially electronic devices, a few hours before sleep.
Encourage and reward independent, undisrupted sleep.
Communicate the importance of sleep to children in an age-appropriate way.
Avoid sugar and other stimulants.
Keep older children awake during the day.
Teenagers may resist regular sleep times, but it is vital to their development and success that they maintain a positive and consistent sleep cycle. Strategies to encourage this include:
Avoid filling up evening time with study, chores or stimulating activities. These should be completed during the day.
Monitor screen time and limit use of electronic devices before bed.
Encourage and reward physical activity during the day; social sports are a great way to do this.
Set and enforce consistent sleep times.
Avoid allowing teenagers to oversleep on weekends/ holidays.
Lead by example!
For Adults and the Elderly
While we might believe that we have too much on our plate to ensure we get a good night’s rest, there are ways to help ensure that our sleep cycle is a healthy one. Try to implement these tips into your daily routine:
Partake in physical activity every day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous; gentle exercise like yoga is fine!
Begin to wind down an hour before bed.
Reduce disrupting sleep factors such as stress, blue light, alcohol and stimulants.
Meditate or spend some quiet time reading/ listening to music in the evenings.
Avoid spending time in bed during the day.
Create a relaxing, enjoyable sleeping environment.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama
“You spend one third of your life in bed … a good night’s sleep has such an incredible impact on how you feel.” – Nancy Shark.
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin.
We have now reached the end of our Healthy Sleep series. Thank you for coming on this journey, and I hope you have enjoyed learning about what it takes to create and maintain a healthy sleep cycle!