A good night’s sleep is something that is simultaneously essential and elusive for so many parents. Whether we’re struggling to get our children to sleep or trying to get a proper night’s rest ourselves, we tend to have problems getting the sleep we need. Recently I flew to Cincinnati for a very special P&G All Access Day on the Science of Sleep and it was absolutely fascinating. If you’ve ever struggled with getting a proper night’s sleep, these five tips from the National Sleep Foundation are a great way to start developing proper sleep habits.
1) Create A Routine
It’s not just children that benefit from a bedtime routine! Creating a ritual that’s performed every night before bed, whether it’s taking a warm bath or sipping a cup of herbal tea, is a great way to train the body to start winding down and preparing for sleep. Find a routine that works for you and remember that it doesn’t need to be complicated. Even fifteen minutes every night with a good book can be a great relaxing end to the day before bed.
2) Keep it Dark and Cool
A dark bedroom is essential for a good night’s sleep, so position any glowing lights away from you for the best rest possible. And keep it cool! The ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to ensure that the house is always at the perfect temperature when you crawl between the sheets and as an added bonus, it will save you money on your energy bill as well!
3) Sleep and Awaken at the Same Time Every Day
One of the most recommended pieces of advice for a good night’s sleep is also, in my opinion, one of the most difficult to adhere to. While there are nights that I’m in bed by 11:00pm, there are also times that I fall asleep at 2:00am. So I was happy to learn that waking up at the same time every day is actually more important than falling asleep at the same time every night. If nothing else, make that a priority to help ensure a better night’s sleep.
4) Get a Little Scent-sual
Scents are helpful in two different ways for creating a relaxing environment. Certain scents, such as lavender, trigger a release of relaxation hormones in the body, so simply using the right scent before bed can help to ensure a better night’s sleep. And using the same scent every single night can help to create the sense of routine that triggers the body to prepare for bedtime. Personally, I love washing my sheets and blankets with the new Tide and Downy Sweet Dreams Collection laundry care. The relaxing blend of peach, lavender and vanilla is the perfect scent to help me prepare for a blissful night’s sleep.
5) Power Off for the Night
Electronics are a major part of most people’s lives, but they are also detrimental to a good night’s sleep. Not only do they keep the mind active and stimulated, but the light from the devices prevents the body from producing the melatonin needed to trigger sleepiness. That’s why experts recommend turning off all electronics thirty minutes before going to bed. In fact, Tide and Downy have even created the “Tuck In. Turn Off.” Pledge to help people commit to powering down and preparing for bed each night!
While some of these tips require a little bit of work and planning to put into practice, others are as simple as setting an alarm clock or picking a favourite relaxing scent for your room. And ensuring a good night’s sleep is well worth it since a proper night’s sleep results in higher energy, better health, increased mental alertness and lower obesity rates! Visit the National Sleep Foundation website for more great sleep tips and get started creating your ideal sleep routine!