According to healthcare experts such as Dr Evans-Whipp, Australia’s Department of Health guidelines recommend that adolescents and kids sleep between eight to eleven hours a night.
Adults, meanwhile, need pretty much the same amount of sleep. So what makes our situation from that of our kids any different?
It all boils down to the hours of sleep you get.
Kids have their worries and stress factors, but adults have a rougher time setting up a regular sleep routine.
The snooze time you get per night is affected by many factors, but mostly, mental health and poor sleep hygiene play substantial roles in whether you’re out like a light or wide awake.
Here are some ways to establish healthy sleep habits for you, your kids, or grandma or pa!
Dealing With Night Shift Work
Although working in this economy and with the global situation is a blessing, it can also affect your sleep and overall wellness.
Technological advancements and growing globalisation mean that offices often have departments separated by different time zones. While that can be an exciting blend of cultures, sometimes it damages your sleep cycles. People tend to skip good sleep habits in order to work, resulting in not getting enough sleep.
Whether physically strenuous or mentally draining, shift work messes with your sleep-wake cycle, increases tiredness, and amplifies sleep problems. Unlike an alarm clock, that cycle’s not so easy to reset.
The Body Knows Rest and Wake Up Times
Our bodies have internal biological clocks, sometimes referred to as the circadian rhythm, that influence the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, thus affecting our sleeping patterns.
Bright light exposure and other stimuli for long periods, for example, restrict the production of melatonin, keeping you awake. They put the circadian rhythm out of sync. They can even reset it in extreme cases. Sure, it starts with minimal side effects like daytime sleepiness, but things can go south quickly. For instance, lack of sleep increases daytime heart rate, which, if left unchecked, may lead to a number of heart issues.
Reset Your Clock Now
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health to have a career and vice-versa. The key is understanding how your internal clock works and how you can use that knowledge to get as much quality sleep as you can.
Whether you’re a night shift worker or a new mother having to deal with a child getting familiar with a bedtime routine, these following tips might do you wonders.
Make the Bedroom Exclusive for Sleeping
The first step in getting your body clock back in sync is ensuring your sleep environment is a stimulants-free zone. While a total blackout is tempting, you still need a bit of light in your room. As for noise, you should eliminate those as much as possible.
Short of totally soundproofing your room, you can use earplugs to drown out the noise and maximise your sleep time, especially for those who have to sleep after a long shift. For mothers, this isn’t as advisable as you’d want to be able to hear your little one.
Work Your Body During the Day
Regular exercise can also help workers and new mommies to get that good night’s sleep we deserve. Remember NOT to do cardio minutes before bedtime, as that can mess with your body temperature and trick your brain and muscles that you need to be active when you actually need to rest.
Try Natural Sleep Aids
Sleep specialists also suggest trying out nature-inspired sleep aids like Jasmine or chamomile tea to help you doze off faster.
Children Aren’t Sleeping
By the way, adults aren’t the only ones suffering from a lack of a regular sleep schedule.
Another unintended side-effect of technology is the boom in mobile phone usage. While that’s not entirely a bad thing, they aren’t entirely harmless.
Mobile phone use and other factors can prevent teens from getting healthy sleep. This trend has dire consequences and effects, as a recent study shows. Taiwanese university students who had irregular sleep schedules exhibited daytime sleepiness and even fatigue.
Excessive mobile phone makes sleep deprivation prevalent in this age group. Don’t worry, though; here are some tricks to turn that downer into more uptime!
Set Up Better Night Routines
Teen sleepers often contend with many distractions, mainly from social media and entertainment platforms. By providing a regular schedule on when they’re supposed to log off, you can lessen their screen time and routinely get them ready for bed.
Less mobile phone time reduces the blue light children are exposed to, which adversely influences their circadian rhythm. Stick to a time limit, and you’ll see results soon.
Do the Homework
Did you know that helping your children with their homework can result in better sleep?
Instead of exposing your kids to the perils of pulling all-nighters this early in their development, you can assist them with their schoolwork. This can also be a good bonding experience and a way to know them better!
Keep in mind that the main goal is to teach your children the importance of going to bed on time regularly. Kids are inherently smart; once they see how a good night’s rest feels like, they’d want more.
Master the Basics of Setting a Sleep Schedule
We talked about how certain individuals can have a tough time sticking to a routine bedtime, but the truth is, this is a problem that the majority of us have to contend with every day.
If setting a sleep schedule or fixing one is proving to be difficult for you, give these tips a try.
1. Find the Right Bedding
Most people assume that bedroom comfort is the responsibility of your mattress and pillows alone. However, the perfect bedding will have you zonk out in minutes.
For example, the Ecosa Luxe Quilt is an all-season must-have that’s both hypoallergenic and breathable enough that you won’t feel cold or too stuffy. Check one out now!
2. Limit Midday Naps
A downside of not having a routine sleep schedule is daytime sleepiness. It’s tempting to sneak in a quick nap after lunch or in between breaks but, trust us, you wouldn’t want to.
Sure, a few minutes of shut-eye here and there won’t hurt in the short term, but when it feels like you have jet lag when you don’t take nap, that might be a sign you’re suffering from sleep disorders.
Another reason why you shouldn’t rely on napping too often is that your sleep schedule gets out of whack because you’re too rested to sleep when you have to.
3. Don’t Flex Your Brain Before Bedtime
We discussed lessening screen time to limit blue light exposure, but this is too important to pass up.
Using mobile phones minutes before bed activates brainwaves and tricks the brain into thinking that you aren’t going to bed yet. The same goes for reading books with a lamplight.
On the Dot
In a perfect world, we’re all able to go to bed and wake up whenever we want. However, real-life circumstances aren’t how we want them to be all the time.
There’s no need to despair, though. Whether you’re a shift worker struggling with changing bedtimes, a new mom getting used to taking care of an infant, or students trying to survive, it won’t hurt to try out these tips.
Remember, good sleep is your passport to overall wellness. It pays to try and have that as much as possible. Whenever you’re having difficulty with your sleep, Ecosa’s got your back.