Sleep is so routine; it breaks up our day and allows us to recharge before the next one. However, even though this is an activity that all human beings need to survive, we somehow fall short as a society at getting enough sleep. Think about your daily interactions; how many times a day do you hear from a coworker or family member the phrase “I’m so tired?” Some struggle with insomnia, sleep apnea, or other mental or medical struggles that keep them from sleeping adequately, but the majority of us simply do not get to bed early enough to function at our best each day. Not getting adequate sleep has been found to exacerbate a wide range of issues, over all ages.
Children who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to:
- Difficulties focusing
- Increased worry
- Anger outbursts and tantrums
- Difficulty regulating emotion
Teens who don’t sleep are more prone to:
- Mood swings
- Trouble in school
Adults who are chronically sleep deprived may struggle with:
- Increased anxiety
- Increased appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Depressed mood
Regardless of our age, we all need sleep; both our bodies and our minds suffer when we don’t. When we are struggling in relationships, with mental health, or with the responsibilities that we juggle, we are in a better position to put in our best effort when we are rested and feeling our best.
Some tools for getting to sleep and having a more restful night:
- Deep breathing exercises before bed
- Progressive muscle relaxation exercises while lying in bed
- Journaling our thoughts before turning out the light
- Exercising during the day
- Having a routine bedtime
- Minimizing lights and screen for an hour before bed
- Keeping caffeine intake to a minimum after 3pm
Hopefully integrating some of these tools can help you or your children feel more rested and prepared for the day.