Snoozing your way to better health

One of the best possible things you can do to stay healthy is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. This is equally important for both kids and adults. Not getting enough sleep can lead to all kinds of unexpected health consequences, including more colds and flus, more accidents, moodiness, lack of focus, poor memory, and even problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. The National Sleep Foundation found that children are getting 1.5-2 hours less sleep than recommended!

What are some signs that you or your kids aren’t getting enough sleep?

  • Taking a long time to fully wake up in the morning
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleeping more than an hour or two extra on weekends
  • Falling asleep during the day

The problem is, most of us have so much going in our lives and in our brains on that falling asleep can be difficult. Here are some tips for falling to sleep faster and more easily that work for both kids and adults.

  • Don’t look at screens right before bed: We all know that screens are a big part of our lives and it can be hard to put them down. If you absolutely must use your phone or computer right before bed, try an app like f.lux that changes the light on your screen from blue to orange so you feel sleepier. Even sleeping near a screen can negatively affect sleep, so keep them away from you and your kids’ beds!
  • Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise: If you can’t relax or feel like you won’t be able to fall asleep, try this breathing pattern. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7, breath out for 8.
  • Get an eye mask: Living in a city certainly has its benefits, but one of the major downsides is a lot of light at night. An eye mask will help convince your body it’s time for sleep.
  • Create a bedtime routine: This is key for both adults and children. Following the same steps (at about the same time) before bed every night will let your body know it’s time to go to sleep.
  • Stay active: Being as active as you can during the day is one of the best ways of making sure your body is ready for sleep at night! Plus, a good night’s sleep will help you to be even more active the next day. It’s a great cycle!

Here are some of our previous tips on helping kids get to sleep and the right amount of sleep for each age.

 

(Image courtesy of NPR.org)

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