The Parentologist’s Top 5 Sleep Habits for Overall Wellness
Dr. Kim, also known as The Parentologist is our go-to for parenting advice. After all, she's a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mom to two children. She knows a little something about sleep deprivation (then again, what mom doesn't?) and as a doctor knows all too well the havoc it can wreck on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Top 5 Sleep Habits for Overall Wellness
- Avoid working in bed. Ever! Your bed is for sleep and your brain will get mixed messages if it’s used to stimulate your brain activity rather than soothe and slow it down for rest.
- Avoided screen time for at least 30 minutes before you lay your head on your pillow. I am guilty of this, but it’s so important to give your brain and your eyes time to adjust so you can fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool. Our bodies produce natural melatonin when it’s dark. This signals our bodies to sleep but if there is too much light it doesn’t work properly and we will not sleep deeply. And it’s better to have the bedroom at cooler temperatures for a better night sleep! This will help avoid nightmares, tossing and turning, and night sweats!
- Have a routine! Try to go to bed at the same time each night to get your body into a regular habit of when it will naturally fall asleep! It’s funny, I recommend the same thing to parents who are sleep training their babies!!
- If you are anxious or stressed, write down your worries on a piece of paper before bed and mentally leave it for the morning. Externalizing the problem will help you not internalize and agonize over it while you try to sleep. Then before you actually go to bed, have a glass of room temperature water and take a few deep breaths and prolonged stretches to relax your mind and body!