by Yovana Miramontes-Risk
Recently, it’s been an issue for me to get to bed early or keep up with my sleep. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for children. I did some research and found a few ways to help me, and hopefully your children, go to bed earlier and to sleep better.
Like most people, we tend to use our smart-phones or iPads in bed right before we’re about to fall asleep. What a lot of people don’t know is how harmful this is for our sleep and especially for our eyes. Staring at a screen causes you to blink less, making your eyes dry. The bright lights of the screens in a dark room are what keep you from being able to fall asleep immediately. A smart thing to do is to set a curfew for electronics. This way you and your children keep your eyes away from a screen before jumping into bed to fall asleep. This is good for your eyes and for your brain; there aren’t as many thoughts in your head. This helps you fall asleep with a clear head and rested eyes.
Something else that could be helpful for a successful full-night sleep is to set a “go to bed” alarm. This way your child’s body adjusts to an internal-clock for when to wake up and when to fall asleep. This helps get their body used to going to bed at the same time every night, making it a lot easier to fall asleep earlier in the long run.
Another interesting technique I learned was keeping a “worry journal” where you or your children can write a to-do list for the next day or a list of thoughts you have before going to bed. This way both your minds are clear from clutter from the day. Keep the journal by your bed and write down the thoughts in your head before laying down to rest. Your mind should be at ease while falling sleeping so that you sleep soundly and well.
Adjusting the temperature and darkness in your room or your child’s room could also be a great way of helping you fall asleep more soundly. A cold, dark room is a great sleeping environment for a full night’s rest. (Yes, I know that a cold room in Hawaii is a bit of a misnomer.) This way, cozying up with blankets and no lights is the best sleeping environment. This is my favorite kind of sleeping environment, I very much enjoy the cold and being able to snuggle up and fall sound asleep.
Some things can also be done earlier in the day to help ensure a goodnight’s rest. For example, exercising during the day will help tremendously. Since being active during the day, along with the mental activity your mind’s going through, your body feels that it needs to rest a lot sooner than if you do not exercise. Also, leaving your “work-brain” at work helps with your mental-relaxation. Encourage your child to do the same with their school-work. Leave school-work at school, except homework of course. By doing this, you are more relaxed while trying to rest and shutdown for the night.
The last tip I have for going to bed earlier is to get into a routine. When setting an alarm for the morning every day, your body gets used to waking up at the same time every day, even if the alarm doesn’t go off. This is the same with going to bed, if you set an alarm for when you and your child should go to bed, then your body will get used to going to bed at that time. This routine will become instilled in your brains and your bodies, meaning you all will for sure get all the sleep you need and sleep soundly.
These helpful tips worked wonders for me, I have been going to bed earlier than before and I have been sleeping soundly. Sleep is very important to me, so I’m very glad that I was able to help myself ensure a goodnight’s rest every night.