Parent Sleep Tips
Even if we are laser focused and consistent on sleep for our little ones, sometimes we don’t prioritize sleep for ourselves! We just need a little alone time after the kids go to bed. Next thing you know it’s midnight and you know the next day isn’t going to be awesome. For me, it is always just one more episode of Schitt’s Creek or one more game of Candy Crush. We always talk about the babes, but this week is all about parent sleep tips!
Why Parents Need Sleep
These are all super important, right?
- Mental health & mood stability
- Cognitive performance
- Increased immunity and strengthens heart health
- Increased energy levels
- Helps to prevent weight gain
Your Sleep Needs
Adults need in between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Less than 2% of people need less sleep.
To figure out your individual sleep needs, start tracking your sleep and analyzing how long you slept on the night’s that you felt most energized and alert the following day. This number should fall somewhere between 7 to 9 hours each night.
Your Sleep Environment
An optimized sleep environment will go a long way in improving your sleep quality. You can find all of our favorite products for your bedroom on our Amazon product page.
- Block out light from all sources – Turn off the TV, hang some blackout curtains, cover any pesky blue light from electronics or devices
- Is it clean? Often our bedroom is the room that gets the least attention, but you deserve a cozy haven to sleep in too!
- Is it cool? Science tells us our bodies prefer to sleep in temps between 68º-72º – anything colder or hotter can cause restless, disrupted sleep.
- Quiet, but not too quiet. Consider using a white noise machine to support consolidated sleep
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex. Avoid tossing and turning trying to fall asleep or doing other activities like eating or watching TV. If you’re struggling, get up and come back to bed when you feel sleepy.
Your Bedtime Routine
We go through these consistent bedtime routines for our little one’s but many of us fall asleep on the couch and crawl to bed, too exhausted to even brush our own teeth! (no judgement – been there!)
Consider adding a consistent bedtime routine for yourself. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, but something that you do consistently each night before bed. This goes a long way to improving sleep quality.
Here’s a sample simple routine:
- 30 minutes before lights out, start your routine
- Wash your face, put on night cream, brush and floss
- Read a book for 15 minutes to relax your brain
If you like taking a bath or shower before bed, that can have increased sleep benefits.
Additional parent sleep tips to improve your shut eye
- Avoid caffeine after 2 pm or earlier if you are sensitive to caffeine. Look out for hidden sources of caffeine, including chocolate.
- Don’t eat a large meal 3 hours before bedtime
- Skip the night cap – if you are going to have wine, have a glass with dinner so you have time (at least three hours) to metabolize the wine before bedtime
- Consider a bedtime snack – a small, well-balanced snack before bed can improve your sleep quality
- Integrate some sort of movement that you enjoy most days of the week. This doesn’t need to be an hour-long gym session, but a short walk, yoga, or deep breaths are all good movement options to improve sleep.
- Have a regular schedule for yourself – once you figure out how much sleep you need, set your wake time and bedtime, then stick to it, 7 days a week. Sleeping in isn’t as restorative as a power nap…
- If you are feeling tired mid-day, take a short, 30-minute power nap and ensure it ends before 3:00 pm.
- Ensure you aren’t watching the news or scrolling social right before sleep – that can stir up your brain vs. calming it down.
- Try to stop media consumption and screens at least 60 minutes before bed to make it easier for you to settle, plus no blue light, which affects sleepy hormone production!
- If your brain is busy at bedtime, try keeping a journal by the side of the bed to get your thoughts and to do list for the next day out of your head and onto paper.
- Consider using a sleep meditation from apps like Headspace, Calm or the free Insight Timer. Listening to one of these short meditations will calm your mind, getting you out of your head and relaxing your body, making it easier to fall asleep.
- If you aren’t able to fall asleep in 15 minutes, get up out of bed, keep the lights dim, try reading a book until you feel sleepy again and then climb back into bed and try again.
Now go put these parent sleep tips to practice! Tag us on social @bellalunafamily if you put any of them into practice! We love to hear about your success!
If you just read this and laughed out loud, like “yeah, right, my little one doesn’t sleep” reach out to schedule a free intro call where we can talk about getting you and your little one the sleep you need!
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