How Much Sleep Do You Need?
5 Ways Parents Can Improve Sleep Management
Life as a parent is stressful enough – and trying to get enough sleep can feel next to impossible. You’ve always got something going on, and when there is time to finally sit down and rest? You can’t.
Let’s face it: you’re stressed. You’re being pulled in different directions, you have a busy schedule, and all you can think about is what else needs to be done. And if your kids struggle with their sleep? That affects you, too!
When relaxation is out the window, and actual sleep doesn’t cut it – you wake up feeling exhausted.
It’s extremely hard to manage your sleep when you have so many obligations and not enough time. Let’s talk about some sleep management tips so you can wake up feeling refreshed and have more energy to do the things you love.
Reduce Screen Time
Reducing screen time, in general, is great for you and your kids. It gives your eyes a break from blue light and gives you more time to just “be,” and to spend doing other things.
There’s a multitude of studies that show a lot of great benefits from reducing screen time. Reducing screen time can:1
- Reduce aggression
- Boost creativity
- Help them to be more present and in the moment
When you reduce screen time, your brain is less “alert,” meaning a deeper sleep for you.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your screen time, you can:
- Listen to music
- Play a musical instrument
- Write in a journal
- Sit outside by a fire or in the moonlight
- Take a bath
- Read a good book
When you reduce your screen time, you calm your mind. A calm mind is easier to fall asleep than a stimulated mind you get from scrolling minutes before bed.
Limiting screens improves sleep quality because your mind is relaxed. This may mean happier dreams and a night of more restful sleep.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule for yourself that includes sleep is extremely helpful to your brain. When you look at your schedule and see a consistent time for bed, your brain sees it as a non-negotiable.
So, not only will you get used to having a set time for bed each night, your brain will look forward to it.
When you create a sleep schedule and stay consistent with it, you help your body get into a rhythm that gets ready for sleep around the same time each night.
Your circadian rhythm is being corrected. This means that you’ll start to naturally feel tired around the same time each night, which helps you to slip under the covers and fall right to sleep.
Do you have ADHD and find yourself resisting schedules? See if a loved one can help. It can feel so supportive for someone to help with perspective when you find yourself still answering work emails in the evenings or doing too many chores.
Don’t Eat After Eight PM
Or, rather, don’t eat up to two hours before bed. Everyone’s schedule is different, and you may not even get home until 8:00 pm. Just know you’ll get the best results if it’s two hours between your last meal and when you go to sleep.
Why? Because your body needs time to digest, and you shouldn’t be asleep during that process.
When you digest food while asleep, it can lead to:2
- Indigestion issues
- Weight gain
Indigestion problems can disrupt sleep. It can also lead to weight gain because your metabolism slows down as you sleep, which means your body has a harder time digesting food.2
There’s a higher chance you crave fatty, sugary, and carb-filled food in the evening right before bed. These types of food are especially bad for you when your metabolism has slowed.
If you have sleep apnea, eating two hours before bed can significantly worsen your symptoms.2
Don’t go to bed hungry, though! If you need to eat right before bed, something light but packed with nutrients is best.
You could eat:
- Celery or an apple with peanut butter
- Cheese and crackers
- Greek yogurt
- Trail mix
These are all great options if you need a snack close to bedtime.
Find Time to Play
Play gets your mind moving, in a more free-flowing way. When you get your mind moving like this, it improves your ability to problem-solve, boosts your creativity, and releases pent-up stress.3
Play is just as important for adults as it is for kids!
Connecting with your kids or loved ones through play is a great way to bond while having fun. It deepens your relationships and builds trust.
And, at the end of the day, play increases sleep quality.3 This is because you’ve released stress and you’ve exerted energy– so it takes less time to fall asleep. It also helps you stay asleep.
It’s important to find time throughout your week to devote to play, but what if it’s not feasible or you don’t have the energy?
What if your schedule is just too busy?
What if you have to eat close to bedtime, or your job includes staring at screens all day?
You’re already tired enough, trying to change your schedule or create a new one may not be appealing at all.
That’s okay because NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is another tool that can help promote relaxation and healthy habits. If you’ve tried everything else, it just might be the solution you’re looking for.
Brain Train With Neurofeedback
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback promotes healthy sleep habits by training your brain to work at its most optimal state. Neurofeedback helps your brain’s neuroplasticity – your brain’s ability to adapt and change.
NeurOptimal® monitors your brain’s electrical patterns while you’re listening to music or watching a movie. When the device detects the brain is about to shift in an unstable way, or it detects turbulence, it’ll briefly pause – bringing you back to the present moment.
Over time, neurofeedback trains your brain to its most optimal state, helping you feel relaxed and calm.
Being able to relax, feel calm, think clearly, and embrace your day with confidence is what allows you to peacefully get into bed each night and be out like a light.
By making healthy lifestyle changes, sleep management can be done in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to find time to go to a sleep management institute or have tests for a diagnosis.
If you’re interested in trying neurofeedback as another tool to help with your sleep management, NeurOptimal® is an at-home neurofeedback system that anyone can do.
With NeurOptimal®, you can:
- Train your brain right from home
- Feel more rested, energized, and confident
- Tackle each day – awake and well-rested!
NeurOptimal® promotes healthy sleep habits and relaxation to help you wake up feeling refreshed.
Do you want to learn more about neurofeedback?
Join our Facebook group: Neurofeedback moms (Dads are welcome, too!)
Join our great community of parents learning about neurofeedback, sharing personal experiences and who support one another.
In the group you’ll get:
- Research-based information to help you make the best decisions for your family
- Live sessions with experts in the therapeutic, neurofeedback, and parenting fields
- Lifetime access to all live recordings – watch at your convenience!
Go ahead and join Neurofeedback moms, we’re excited to connect with you inside of the group!
- Screen Time: The Good, The Healthy and The Mind Numbing.
- Is Eating Before Bed Bad?
- The Importance of Play for Adults
Disclaimer: This site contains information on general health and wellness topics. Please note that Neuroptimal® has been designated a general wellness product by the FDA. The information on this site or in any linked materials should not be construed as medical advice. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations by your physician.