Our kids are not getting enough sleep these days. Nor are we for that matter. With the pressure we busy mamas put on ourselves to be productive as well as over schedule our children so that they can gain a competitive edge, sleep gets lower and lower on the totem pole of priorities.
Just like we need to put the right foods into our body for optimal performance, we also need to give the body the rest it needs in order to recharge. No amount of healthy food is going to compensate for sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation usually equates to weight gain as sleep-deprived people tend to overeat when tired. Lack of sleep affects focus and memory. Also, when you are tired and exhausted you are more prone to bad decision-making.
Here are my 5 Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet Tips to making sure your kids get a good night sleep:
- Keep kids to a consistent waking and sleeping schedule
- While I tend to let kids sleep later and wake up later on weekends, I put a limit on that so that it doesn’t interfere too much with their weekly sleep routine.
- The environment in their rooms can affect sleep as well
- I had my kids choose their bedding and pillows to make sure they found it comfortable and excited to get under those blankets at night.
- I also had night shades installed so that the room stays dark even when the sun rises.
- The temperature in the house is another factor that can affect sleep, with optimal temperature being between 68-70 degrees.
- Full stomach makes restless sleep
- Finally, eating a large meal right before bed can make it difficult to sleep, so try to avoid that when possible.
- I try to give kids last bite to eat between 2-4 hrs before bed
- Remove your kids’ electronic devices from their room at bedtime. This is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep for two reasons:
- First, this will help avoid the sneaking around to play at night or as kids get older waking up from texts or calls from friends.
- Second, the bright light from the various screens (iPad, computer, phone, etc.) actually affects melatonin production which can negatively affect our ability to fall asleep
- Bribe your kids with extended alone-time /quality time with you when you tuck them in if they go to bed on time.
- Bedtime Story: When my kids were younger, I’d read them a bedtime story with each one of my kids individually, and they would get to spend 10 exclusive minutes with me before their bedtime.
- Pillow Talk: Now that they are a bit older, I still tuck them into bed and have alone time with them to meditate, say their positive affirmations and have what we call “pillow talk”, which is when I really hear about what happened during their day!
The number of hours our kids should be getting according to the National Sleep Foundation.
How many hours of sleep per night are your kids (and you!) getting?
|AGE||HOURS OF SLEEP|
|Young Adults||7-9 hours|
|Older Adults||7-8 hours|
In a nutshell, we need to ingrain in our kids (and remind ourselves!) from a young age that sleep is a good thing and should be prioritized like everything else that is important to us.
This blog is inspired by “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet” Lesson #6: Ingrain in your kids from a young age that sleep is a good thing.
More lessons and tips like these as well as 45 healthy, quick and delicious recipes can be found in my book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet” available on Amazon today!