A good night’s sleep can make all the difference. Rest prepares our mind and bodies with the ability to handle whatever life has to throw at us. As parents, it’s even more important to be well rested. When I get a night full of good rest I am more capable of dealing with the craziness of my very busy life. My oldest wants to test me with staying up too late and being a total grouch the next day? Handled. My youngest wants to paint the walls with purple paint? I got this. My middle kids want to have a pillow fight and scream, cry and yell (and scream, and scream, and scream)? On my way.
I recently had the opportunity to talk all about healthy sleep patterns with doctor Susie Yim from Kaiser Permanente Orange County. It was a fascinating conversation about my most favorite activity: sleeping.
Although not too much is known about why humans as a species sleep, we do know that there are many benefits of sleep – in addition to being important for survival. I am a Kaiser Permanente Orange County mom ambassador, all opinions are my own.
BENEFITS OF GOOD SLEEP:
Good Sleep can enhance our memory and problem-solving skills.
Improve our brain function with memory and driving tasks.
Helps us to stay motivated, alert, and engaged.
Mood booster and can even prevent feelings of depression.
Help maintain a healthy weight.
Sleep helps your immune system stay strong.
While you’re asleep, your body repairs important cells and tissues.
A GOOD NIGHTS REST…CAN BE HARD TO COME BY
It’s safe to say that no aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation. Poor sleep can have a serious effect on our health and wellness. Did you know that up to 1 in 3 Americans have difficulty falling and staying asleep? Below is a list of tips to maintain a healthy sleep pattern.
HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERN
Limit Screen Time
The blue light on our phones and tablets can interfere with our brain’s ability to recognize night-time. Doctor Yim suggests that we avoid our phones for 30-40 minutes before bed.
Create a Dedicated Bed Time
Help your bodies natural circadian rhythm by creating a set bedtime.
Keep It Cool & Dark
Keep a cool and dark room free of distractions for the best nights rest. Doctor Yim is an advocate for a distraction free bedroom for the best nights rest.
Avoid or limit caffeine and nicotine, especially in the hours before bedtime. Both can keep you awake.
Avoid alcohol before bed, alcohol can cause you to wake up more often during the night.
Exercise your way to sleep
If you cannot fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed, do something relaxing until you feel tired. Read a book, listen to music or guided imagery, or take a nice, warm bath.
Doctor Yim of Kaiser Permanente Orange County is an advocate for healthy sleep patterns in all of us. She persists that stress free evenings and rooms with no distractions are the best remedies for the best night of rest as possible. If you are not receiving 8 hours of rest every night and you’re not sure why, check out this online Sleep Diary recommended by Doctor Yim.
HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERNS FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN…IS IT POSSIBLE?
One of my most important questions for Doctor Yim during our conversation about healthy sleep patterns was: how do parents of newborns maintain a healthy sleep pattern? When each of my children were born, it felt as though I would never sleep again. The days and nights blurred into each other and I was a complete wreck for what felt like eternity (but was probably closer to 3 months). So…how do parents of newborns and young children maintain a healthy sleep pattern? Doctor Yim laughed a little at my question, because she knows (just like all moms do), sleep is hard to come by with little ones at home. However, Doctor Yim had several useful tips for parents. Such as: TAKE TURNS sleeping! And HAVE A SLEEP PLAN! My husband and I planned that I would catch up on sleep over the weekends. That plan was a lifesaver for me. Best advice of all from Doctor Yim was that parents should understand that everyone (especially mom) needs a break.
Words and photos via Desiree Eaglin of The Funny Mom Blog