Getting back to school in September can be tough. The transition from flip-flops to shoes, the beach to the classroom, or baseball to homework, can be difficult for everyone. Summer vacation is a great way to unwind, but can wreak havoc on bedtime rituals. So, with the carefree days of summer a distant memory, it’s time to invoke some sleep hygiene, ASAP!
Studies show that consistent quality sleep will improve your child’s mental, emotional and physical performance – not to mention their overall good health. Soothe the senses to a more peaceful sleep with these 4 simple steps.
1. Less Clutter Clears the Mind
Any sleep expert will tell you the first step to better sleep is to clear your bedroom of any anxiety-inducing clutter. Ideally, the bedroom should contain only the things that contribute to a good night’s sleep: comfortable bedding and a black-out shade. But, realistically, reducing the amount of clutter will suffice. Make sure everything is put away and in its place (with the exception of a cherished stuffed animal). Remove all electronic devices from the room. Nothing messes more with your sense of sleepiness than the beckoning glow of a cell phone or tablet.
2. Clean & Soft Bedding Creates Comfort
According to the National Sleep Foundation , 7 out of 10 people agree that they get a more comfortable night’s sleep on fresh sheets. Sheets that smell nice will help you drift into a more tranquil sleep. To get them as clean as possible, wash sheets and pillowcases in warm or hot water every two weeks. Have a second set of sheets to use when one set is in the wash. Comforters, pillows and blankets also need to be washed, but less often; just 2 – 3 times a year is recommended.
3. Essential Oils Promote Relaxation
While scientists have yet to determine how or why aromatherapy might help alleviate sleep problems, it’s thought that inhaling essential oil molecules (or absorbing essential oils through the skin) may activate brain chemicals involved in controlling sleep. Consider adding an essential oil diffuser to your bedtime routine. Studies have shown that lavender can improve sleep quality. Bergamot is also known for its calming effects. Keep your diffuser clean by using a Q-tip to gently wipe away excess oil and water after each use.
4. White Noise is a Much Needed Distraction
Trouble sleeping? For some, as soon as the lights turn off, their minds turn on. According to the Canadian Sleep Society, sleep deprivation has become pervasive in our society due to the 24-hour availability of commodities and technologies. The solution? Sometimes all it takes is a subtle distraction. The gentle purr of a fan or a white noise machine will cover up all the sounds, like the TV downstairs, a dripping faucet, or people outside on the street. Some people double up on noise cancelling aids; for example, a fan plus ear plugs is a must for many these days.
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