Adjusting Sleep Schedules
With it’s longer days and kids out of school, summer can wreak havoc on your regular sleep schedule.
If you’re finding this adjustment to be difficult (for yourself and your kids alike), you’ll want to check out and implement these four tips to help you get back on track.
1. Avoid Technology Right Before Bed
Both parents and kids can find themselves spending extended time in front of various screens these days (computer, television, phone, tablet…the list goes on). But did you know that this can contribute to throwing off your sleep schedule?
Avoiding technology right before bed (at least an hour before you go to bed) can definitely help. If this is unavoidable, at least download f.lux for your devices. This handy app automatically dims your screen to a “warmer” color during the evening hours, which helps prevent eye strain and makes it easier for you to transition into sleep.
2. Set Regular Sleep/Wake Times
The benefits of this tip is two-fold.
First of all, your body functions on regular cycles. By setting sleep and wake times, you set your body into a rhythm that it can become accustomed to (added benefit: you’ll start waking up naturally, without any need for an alarm!)
Secondly, setting regular sleep and wake times will give you control over how much sleep you’re getting.
If you want to function at your highest potential, be sure to give yourself enough shut-eye each night.
3. Set A Cutoff For Sugar And Caffeine
Find yourself tossing and turning at night? Can’t quiet your mind so you can go to sleep? The late-afternoon sugar and caffeine that you’re consuming could be to blame.
Caffeine has an average half-life of 6 hours, so only half of the caffeine from your standard 3pm cup o’ joe has worn off by 9pm. Set an earlier cut-off (shoot for 12pm), and limit sweets in order to help your body settle into sleep mode.
4. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Getting your heart pumping and your body moving during the day (not too close to bedtime) is a great way to get a better nights sleep. Many also suggest some light stretching right before going to bed to relax the muscles and prepare your body for sleep.
A healthy diet will also contribute to better sleep by keeping your mind sharp and your body chemistry in balance (avoiding processed foods and unnatural sugar spikes and dives).